It began with the usual dinner time exchange when neither one of us was in the kitchen preparing dinner. “What do you want for dinner?” “I don’t know. You?” “Not sure.” “Maybe we should eat out.” *shrugs* “Sure, why not? Where?”
Then we spent about five minutes thinking about where we should go – the old reliables here in Danbury like Bombay Express, Edo II, Pho Vietnam, Empire of the Incas. Or perhaps a drive to Fairfield for Mecha Noodle Bar or Hana Tokyo. Then I remembered seeing the Facebook Page of a ramen place in New Rochelle, one we’ve never been to. Quite a drive from our place, but after we checked out their menu, the discussion was over.
By the time we got there, it was close to 9 p.m. It wasn’t crowded, and the staff greeted us in a friendly way. Despite the available tables, we sat at the bar where the lighting was better. This might be a spur-of-the-moment decision, but I need to take my pictures!
For our appetizer, we shared their Steamed Gua Bao Pork Buns with its pretty delicious sauce, three pieces for $9.
I ordered my go-to ramen, Tonkotsu Ramen ($11). When comparing ramen places, I make sure to order the same thing (tonkotsu ramen) so in a way, the comparison isn’t apples versus oranges. According to their menu, their tonkotsu ramen was “[P]ork broth with a clean, full flavor, creamy texture and cooked for hours on end.” They did get it right, that “clean, full flavor”. There was no overpowering sense of saltiness because it seemed to be very delicately seasoned. This one had less chashu than the tonkotsu ramen I ate from Mecha Noodle Bar.
Hubby ordered that night’s special, Oxtail Ramen. Never heard of this ramen, but when I tasted it, it was flavorful. I confess, I did shy away from the oxtail. Which was fine with him because he happily ate his bowl of ramen. All he could say in between slurps was, “it’s really good!”
Upon the recommendation of our server, we ordered Oyako-Don because she said it’s one of their best dishes. We shared a small bowl because we were full already after eating their ramen. Their Oyako-Don is “[F]reshly grilled chicken over rice & eggs with a sweet soy sauce, scallions & sesame seeds.”
This has got to be the most exquisite looking oyako-don I’ve ever seen. Then we tasted it and no wonder it’s one of their best dishes. . .because it really was. By then, I felt sort of bad. It didn’t deserve to play second fiddle to the ramen we already ate! Even if we wanted to finish it all up, we were stuffed. So with much sorrow, we walked away and left the bowl unfinished. Next time, it will be your turn to shine, oyako-don.
Verdict: Roc-N-Ramen was a great find in New Rochelle with its friendly staff, casual vibe and modest prices. We even met the hospitable owners and the talented chef. Offering a limited menu is actually a great idea, so it doesn’t overwhelm those who are trying ramen for the first time. I’m glad we discovered yet another ramen place within driving distance of Danbury. As you savor your hearty bowls of ramen, this is good winter eats plain and simple.
19 Anderson Street
New Rochelle, NY 10801