Bassanova Ramen is almost legendary in the accolades it’s received. Bassanova Tokyo has been named one of the best ramen shops in Tokyo by CNN and the New York Times has declared Bassanova NY as one of the top 10 ramen shops in New York.
I started out with an order of pork buns, which were delicious. The pork buns have alternating layers of tender and crispy pork, topped with a sweet and tangy sauce that reminds me of a tangy BBQ mayo.
For the uninitiated, one of Bassanova’s claim to fame is their green curry ramen (technically the “tondaku wadashi green curry ramen”). My usual first step when trying a new ramen is to take a big sip of the soup, and this soup actually startled me. First, I admit that I’m not a big curry fan, but there is so much going on in the soup! There are so many different flavors that surround your taste buds. I had trouble identifying some of them, but the pork flavor jumps out once in a while like a slightly short kid among a group of slightly taller kids who keeps jumping up and down to get your attention. There’re sweet flavors, and sour flavors, and the dashi serves as a subtle base layer, holding it all together.
The slightly spicy ramen comes with wavy noodles that goes well with all the ingredients. There’s lean chashu. There’re leafy veggies, some okra, shrimp, and strands of red chili peppers. Whew! This ramen is action packed!
The one problem: there’s not nearly enough soup.
One nice thing about Bassanova is that they offer smaller portions of all of their ramen, so I had to take advantage of it by ordering the shio truffle oil yuzu ramen. Just the sound of it made my mouth water.
The ramen has a deep oil (but not oily) flavor that warmed my stomach. The truffle oil is a great contrast to the yuzu highlights. I really enjoyed the thin noodles with the fried ginger onions, though I wished the noodles were just a bit harder. I really loved the way the yuzu flavor snaked up my nose and to the back of my mouth. There’re also some pieces of kikurage hidden behind the nori. As a bonus, I’m not sure if it was by accident or by choice, the thin slice of chashu for this ramen was slightly fattier and more tender than the chashu with the green curry ramen.
But again: there’s not enough soup. And this was really good soup!
Bassanova is definitely worth a try if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary. See if they’ll give you extra soup though. And one fun thing about Bassanova: you get a giant spoon and giant chopsticks (they’re are about a foot long!) to eat with.