noa - lviv, ukraine
Rating: 7 / 10
My first day in the beautiful city of Lviv involved walking down a small side-street to find a Borscht restaurant. On the way back I saw a group of people hunched over bowls of what seemed like Ramen, so I had to go have a better look. Sure enough, Noa was newly opened, and serving up Lviv's answer to Ramen. I had to try it.
First off, every country has their own peculiar spin or style of ramen, the Eastern Europeans seemingly love lettuce and other vegetables like broccoli in theirs, which isn't always a success. I ordered the Chashu Ramen, hold the corn (and throw it into a dark dungeon somewhere). I'll start by pointing out that this chashu pork is up there with some of the best i've tried outside Japan. Utterly faultless, texture and flavour just utterly mesmerising. The egg too was perfectly cooked, perfectly prepared and the soy-marinate was not too strong or sweet.
The broth itself had some staying power but was a little lacking in deep flavours, but the main culprit were the noodles. Home-made but with the texture of spaghetti thats both al dente and over-cooked at the same time. A bizarre experience.
I went again 2 weeks later to try the "shoyu" version, and whilst the soup was tasty, it lacked the flavour of the first one. Also, the meat wasn't that exciting. Stick to the Chashu Ramen if you go.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
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"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"