The Village Voice rated Tabata's GEKI KARA as the #1 SPICIEST RAMEN in NYC....a title formerly held by Ramen Setagaya in the East Village. I didn't get a chance to try Setagaya's, but I didn't feel a need to as it had fallen second to Tabata's spicy ramen. A huge fan of spicy foods, I was salivating like a dog in heat for this dish.
ON THE PLATE:
The bowl of red goodness came out very quickly as my friend and I had waited to try the spiciest ramen in NYC...well more me than my friend as he had already eaten the dish before and wanted to get my take on it. The portions was a fair amount of noodles, scallions and chunks of thick pork swimming in the red broth. It smelled spicy without having that chemical odor that I find in most spicy food. I had my napkin in hand ready to dab my forehead and cold glass of water within arms reach in case I was overwhelmed by its spiciness.
IN THE MOUTH:
Bringing noodles up to my mouth I was anticipating the fire, but none came about. I thought maybe I needed more noodles, but again the spice was so-so. I tried drinking some of the soup and yet again it was a huge letdown. The flavors were good, but there was such a lack of spice and/or heat in my mouth, my friend gave a glance that we were both in agreement and disappointed. Despite the disappointment, I finished the undercooked noodles and tasty pork chunks, finishing off the entire bowl..broth and all.
THE VERDICT? HEEEEELLLL NOOOOO!
What a complete let down and a waste of time. The spices in this were no hotter than some of the milder packaged ramens I've eaten in the past, during my college years. Don't expect to come here for spice, as it has left the building like my enthusiasm. Come here if you want; just Ramen.