Seriously?!!! Have you tried the ramen at Kawa Ni yet?
For quite some time, I have been gravitating towards Ippudo NYC every chance I get. I absolutely LOVE a good bowl of ramen … and after trying quite a few other options in New York (like Momofuku, Ivan Ramen and Minca etc), I found that Ippudo is my favorite. Well! I am clearly not alone, because you are bound to find a queue no matter when you visit Ippudo.
I love the incredible depth of flavor in their broths and the rich succulence of the the meats. Every slurp tastes like it has simmered for hours and hours. Each visit is a precious and memorable experience! But… it is still all the way in NYC, ie: any time I crave a good bowl of ramen- I am looking at a round trip worth a few hours. Dang it!
So when our very own super-star-chef Bill Taibe offers ramen on the menu of his new restaurant Kawa Ni….. I can’t lie, I get incredibly hopeful. Could he? Would he? Maybe … just maybe …. make it taste as good as Ippudo? Well! we all know that chef Bill Taibe has an incredible palate, and what is even more incredible is that what takes people years to learn and perfect – he has managed to excel in a very short amount of time. Need I say more?
Ramen at Kawa Ni is super-delish. Deep rich broths that do indeed taste like they have simmered for hours- like the spicy miso broth with its great balance of all the wonderful flavor profiles. During my last visit I got a chance to chat with chef Bill Taibe about it. I find that he has an inherently deep and intuitive understanding of which flavor profiles and textures marry well and which should be kept apart. Even when we are talking about Japanese cuisine! So when you see him, just ask why some of his ramen bowls have egg on top and some don’t. His answer, you will find, is “simply” genius!
Chef Taibe spoke about how the ramen broths at Kawa Ni are indeed being simmered for 14-18 hours starting with the slow simmer of bones they source from none other than Saugatuck Craft Butchery. He confirmed my sense that his broths are indeed as good as the ones at Ippudo. YES!!!!
Chef Bill Taibe and his brother Jeff Taibe are the force in this kitchen and the two brothers are showcasing their creativity in multitude of ways – all across this menu. Here east meets west in the most delicious of ways. For instance, you must try the items that are too common and too familiar on restaurant menus- like the crab rangoon. Every time I have tried this at restaurants – I am left wondering why the word “crab” shows up in the name. Because all I usually taste is some creamy cheese filled inside. Well! the Kawa Ni version actually has crab meat in it! And it is damn good. Thank you, God!
At Kawa Ni, there are familiar flavors with surprising twists in each dish. And to sweeten the deal, bartender-extraordinaire Jeff Marron is equipped with his array of must-try cocktails and sake bombs …. just for you.
Kawa Ni, Westport | http://kawaniwestport.com