Sunday, August 17, 2014

Jiro-style Ramen at Yume Wo Katare (Porter Square, Cambridge, MA)

As you exit the red line T stop at Porter Square, you will soon notice the line going towards Yume wo Katare, a place popular for the fatty pork ramen in the style of Jiro in Mita.

Buta Ra-man!
Yume wo Katare is supposedly one of the first (if not the first) US shop to serve Jiro ramen, which is a really fatty pork broth that is completely different from a tonkotsu, topped with a big pile of bean sprouts and some cabbage. With that, some thick chashu (more pork fat!)
Being from LA, I initially snuffed at the Boston ramen scene, but this small shop is one of the very few that looked promising and I was happy to see this particular style, which you can't even find in LA until Tsujita Annex opened just a couple of years ago.

Looking at old blog posts, the dining room wasn't set this way before. Originally it was more of a normal table setting, but I guess this way is more efficient for the long lines. On a Friday night, the wait wasn't too bad - less than an hour when I went. Inside, now there are three rows of counter seating, which makes it feel like a classroom.

What makes it feel even more like a classroom - and some people may be averse to this - is that they make you stand up and say your name, what your dream is ("travel the world" seems to be a popular answer), and how well you did in finishing your ramen ("good job" if you finished the noodles, "perfect" if you finish everything). It's kind of fun, kind of strange. Obviously the people who go don't mind it, but just know what you're in for before you go.

The only choices you have to make once you're inside is whether you want two or five slices of the thick chashu, and whether or not you want garlic. The noodles used here are thick, curly, and chewy.
I understand that this style of ramen is not for everyone. You'd be burping garlic burps all night long. Heartburn? That's entirely possible following this bowl, but if you don't mind not knowing for sure if that's pork fat or garlic floating around in your broth, then go for it. It's oily, salty, and so good ...

The whole telling the room how I did made me eat more, though! I mean, I can't say I go an "almost" - I have to at least get a "good job"! Which meant I was full 5 hours later.

Yume wo Katare is closed on Sundays and Mondays and they're also closed a few days a month, so check their website before you go.

Yume wo Katare
1923 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge MA 02140
(617) 714-4008
  Yume Wo Katare on Urbanspoon


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