Why Come Here? Top notch ramen without the waits
I was first alerted to Bassanova by fellow blogger Johnny Prime who brought me here with his wife after an event. And all I can say after two visits and three bowls of ramen is it baffles that people are putting up with two hour waits at Ippudo and Totto while this place seems to have none whatsoever. Maybe it’s the fact they’ve been open less than a year and the press hasn’t fully caught on. Or maybe it’s the Chinatown location, although I wouldn’t call that a significant downgrade from Midtown West. Either way, I expect once Bassanova gets on more people’s radars the waits will come. So get here while you can.
The space follows the traditional ramen bar style: an open kitchen with counter seating, a few tables and a lack of any other noticeable decor. Everything is pretty much white (is this the place Eric Clapton was singing about?) with a few Japanese paintings lining the walls. The ramens are served in misshapen bowls with almost comically large chopsticks and spoons. So maybe that counts as some form of decoration. The menu consists of a few appetizers and some very interesting and delicious bowls of ramen. Here’s what I’ve tried:
Tondaku Ramen This is their standard pork based ramen and it’s up there with anything I’ve had. It’s rich, with good flavor from the garlic and scallions. The noodles are on the thicker side with a nice chewiness and they give you two meaty hunks of berkshire pork.
Green Curry Ramen This is quickly becoming what Bassanova is known for with good reason – it’s incredible. The curry isn’t mixed with coconut milk like a Thai green curry, but adds spice and flavor to a traditional ramen broth. It does pack the same punch though so be sure to order extra napkins.
Truffle Ramen My friend and I have a theory that the scale of awesomeness is circular. Putting too much awesome together can actually give you something less awesome than either thing on its own. That’s how I felt about this dish. While I love both truffles and the ramen, they just don’t add anything to each other.
76 Mott Street (Canal & Bayard Sts.)
New York, NY