Souen is so in!

If you live in New York, you are probably aware that ramen is all the rage. But what started out as a few noodle shops taking shape in the East Village has flourished into a bona fide trend. While the origin of this movement is usually accredited to Momofuku Noodle Bar circa 2003, chef David Chang is decidedly unwilling to cater to vegetarians. Now, I don’t fault him for this. A chef should be able to cook what he or she wants, after all. And I’d rather be warned up front. But there is a lot of irony in the air when you begin an anti-vegetarian trend in the East Village. While followers aren’t as hard-core about being anti-vegetarian, what slim options they do offer are meager attempts to assuage local concerns. So it’s only fitting that Souen, a sanctuary for vegetarians craving Japanese cuisine, has come to the rescue and opened its own ramen outpost in (where else?) the East Village. Currently, they offer four vegetarian ramen soup options: curry, black sesame, miso and shoyu. Though the miso ramen is denoted as the chef’s favorite, I found it a little too salty for my taste. Instead, I prefer the shoyu ramen. The broth has a deep yet delicate flavor that balances well with the springy, resilient wheat noodles and the abundance of vegetables. The black sesame is also good, though the broth has a much more pronounced seaweed flavor. And while the curry ramen is also extremely enjoyable, it tastes like a refined version of Maggi Masala noodles. I guess this is a fitting menu option given that the restaurant location is in the middle of Little India, which can make it hard to miss. So next time you are craving a satisfying portion of steamy comfort food, walk towards the end of the line of Indian restaurants and look out for the little red door that leads to Souen Ramen.

Black Sesame Ramen

Black Sesame Ramen

Souen Ramen
326 E. 6th Street
(between 1st & 2nd)
212-388-1155

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