Last night was the second night of the Lucky Rice Festival, and it was all about ramen. Four courses, four chefs, all noodles. Plenty of noodles were served and much slurping ensued. Yuji Ramen (see our review here, Ivan Ramen (see our review here), Sun Ramen's Ramen Lab, and Chuko (see our review here) each served up a course.
First Course: Yuji Ramen
This one was the highlight of the meal. Homemade ramen with snow crab, seaweed crunchies and shiso served cold. Light and refreshing, a perfect example of how ramen doesn't have to be heavy.
Second Course: Sun Noodles Ramen Lab
Thin noodles in a soy-flavored broth with plenty of ginger and a fat slice of tender duck breast. The dipping sauce on the side was a foie gras emulsion with (a little too much) truffle oil.
Course Three: Chuko
Chuko's course was titled "Kimchi Ramen 2.0." Slightly thicker noodles in a rich, sweet-and-spicy broth.
Course Four: Ivan Ramen
The course I was waiting for, and it didn't disappoint. Thick ramen noodles in a small amount of intensely rich pork sauce with pork belly and three flavors of garlic. Our favorite was the thin-sliced pickled garlic that worked its way in and out of the noodles.
About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.