An extra spicy bowl of Koji Hagihara’s tonkotsu chashu ramen.
Last year when I tasted Koji Hagihara’s tonkotsu chashu ramen at LIC Flea & Food I liked it so much I told him I hoped he’d bring it to Queens year round. Hagihara is the chef at Hakata Tonton, a West Village eatery specializing in Japanese dishes made from pig’s feet. His tonkotsu ramen is nowhere to be found on Hakata Tonton’s menu. I am glad to report that he has started serving the fortifying noodle soup at the Flea every Saturday. (more…)
Last weekend LIC Flea & Food turned into a little Japan of sorts with dancers in maid outfits, calligraphy, and, above all, food, ranging from okonomiayiki and yakisoba to experimental sushi and ramen. The fishless experimental sushi featuring a spicy chicken teriyaki was not to my taste, but the more traditional tonkotsu ramen was amazing. Koji Hagihara, the chef at Hakata Tonton, a West Village eatery specializing in dishes made from pig’s feet prepared a batch of tonkotsu ramen, a dish that’s nowhere to be found on Hakata Tonton’s menu. The cloudy broth was rich with pork flavor thanks to bones that had been simmered for hours on end. Topped with pickled bamboo shoots; green onions; a wobbly slab of fatty pork belly; and sprinklings of sesame seeds and crushed red pepper, it’s one of the best bowls of ramen I’ve ever had in Queens. Kojisan, if you’re reading this, won’t you please bring your ramen to our borough? Or at least to my house? With fall in full effect, I could use a bowl right about now.