Ichicoro Ramen - Tampa

10/30/2015 06:09:00 PM

The long awaited NYC Ramen shop has finally opened it's door to Tampa Bay residents and it is off the chains.  It was only the second day opening and everything was precise and ran smoother than butter.

I absolutely love the rustic, yet modern feel of the ramen shop. They have a open kitchen/bar that you can sit, eat and watch all the action happen.  They also have an bar serving up appetizers and drinks which is perfect for a quick bite or even to chill before stuffing your face with noodles.

The staffs are all so wonderful too. It's a very diverse, cheerful and attentive crew.

We started off with the Pork Steam Buns ($8).  I absolutely love this because it reminds me of an banh mi with the fresh pickled ingredients and a Chinese steam bun. So if you like the two, you're going to love this! It's all freshly made to order so you know you're getting the real deal.  The crispy, yet juicy pork mixed with the pickled vegetables and fresh scallions is a kick to the face with so many flavors and textures.  The fluffy bun gently combines this dish into one and I can certainly eat 10 of these in a sitting.

Off to the real deal. The menu is very small and only consists of a few appetizers and 5 ramen choices.

CHAMPON* pork/chicken broth, head-on gulf shrimp, chasyu asado, ginger tempura, scallion, corn, shiitake, sesame

MISO pork broth, scallion, menma, bean sprout, onion, sesame

SHOYU* chicken broth, chasyu asado, ajitama, menma, scallion, nori

VEGGIE miso/tomato broth, corn, seasonal veggies, shiitake, scallion, sesame

SPICY ABURA SOBA* (no broth) shio tare, rayu, ontama, scallion, ginger tempura, chasyu asado, home made bacon, habenero koshou

Within these 5 choices you have an option to add additional ingredients for an extra charge. For example, more pork, seasoned egg, seaweed, etc.

We went ahead and ordered the Champon and Miso with Ajitama (seasoned egg). ($16 each)

The Miso broth is thick and well seasoned. The chef prepares each bowl with love and certainly tons of attention.

The Champon has an amazing broth with a mixture of chicken and pork.  There is also an head-on gulf shrimp, but I will have to say I fell in love with the Chasyu (braised pork). The pork was super tender and moist, yet full of flavors.  I also enjoyed the noodles as it was still firm and chewy just like how it's supposed to be!

I actually really enjoyed Ichicoro and am super excited that a new ramen shop has opened up.  As of right now there are three shops that I highly recommend and Ichicoro is definitely on the list.  As well as Japanese Kitchen Dosunco and Sapporo in Orlando.

While comparing the 3, I couldn't decide which place has the best ramen.  There are so many different pros and cons of each place, but I'll try to explain the best I can.

Sapporo Ramen was the first ramen shop I've had in Florida and they certainly do impress. I've had their ramen and liked it, but their Curry dishes certainly kicked it in the butt.  They also serve up one of the best Takoyaki in the state! They also have a good size menu from ramen, udon, appetizers, curry and so on at a very reasonable price. (Still my favorite place to visit).

Japanese Kitchen Dosunco recently opened up this year and they have gotten popular at such a short amount of time.  If you want an true authentic ramen shop feel, this is the place to visit. Their menu is very small and they only specialize in ramen. I really do like the broth here, but it is a little too greasy for my body.  The flavor is amazing though, and the shop owner gives this store a fun personality.

Ichicoro Ramen has only been open for 3 days now and their hype has never been higher. They traveled from NYC and the news was that it was a must try place. I will have to say that the quality and detail work is amazing. Each dish is treated with affection and attention.  I think the noodles is the best at Ichicoro as they prepare it with a slight bite and chew. The broth is also light, yet flavorful. I will have to say that the only off putting thing about Ichicoro is that they are extremely overpriced. I'm not sure how much a bowl of ramen is in NYC, but you should not be paying up to $16 for a bowl and $8 for two small buns! At the end of the day, I ask myself if my bowl of ramen was worth $16 and the answer is no.

I highly suggest checking out Ichicoro if you love ramen and you're looking for a next step up.  It's an quick dinner made fancy.

Ichicoro Ramen

5229 N. Florida Ave.
Tampa, FL 33603
(813) 517.9989

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