According to the Village Voice, “this place is better overall than Ippudo, and cheaper, too.” Ippudo being New York's much touted chain of design-conscious Ramen restaurants.
The first night we walked past, we were deterred by the crowd waiting outside, but my interest was piqued. Every table in that long, unassuming corridor of a room was occupied by Japanese students.
The second night, not only was there no line-up, there was one free table for two, which we grabbed post-haste. The steaminess inside and the low buzz of Japanese banter transported me to the Tokyo Udon shops of my imagination.
We ordered Kome and Mame Cha-Shu soups with an order of gyoza to start. The dumplings were seared and crispy outside and savoury soft inside. Three each hardly felt like enough. We would have ordered more had our soups not come right then and there. The Kome’s lighter broth was closer to the familiar flavour of standard-issue miso soup. The Mame was saltier and more intense, too much for my taste, but my date loved it that way. They were both loaded with fatty churashi pork, ground pork, sprouts, bamboo shoots and of course, a nest of noodles, all topped with half a soft-boiled quail egg.
Misoya was my favorite of the three noodle experiences I had on this trip to New York.