Yasha Ramen recently opened on Amsterdam at 106th, just a little south of Thai Market. This was a risky move, seeing as one of the best ramen shops in the city, Jin Ramen, is just a few subway stops up, at 125th and Broadway. Bwog sent Maud Rozee, proud owner of a ramen spoon and fork, to find out if Yasha can compete.
Atmosphere: Like Jin, Yasha is a cute ramen shop with an open kitchen. It’s bright, clean and modern looking, with blonde wood floors and a brick wall. It’s a little less hip than Jin; my waitress didn’t have any tattoos or extreme hair colors, and there were a few family dinners happening. I give it 5/5 for looking like a successful Restaurant Makeover.
Food: Yasha’s signature ramen, and two other ramens on the menu are made with chicken broth, which gives them a sour, chicken-noodle-soupy taste. The Tonkotsu ramen, made with pork broth, is deliciously creamy. The cha-shu pork was maybe a tiny bit less succulent than at Jin, and my hardboiled egg was a tad cold, but it was nonetheless enjoyable. Yasha gives you the options of curly or straight noodles, or making your ramen spicy for an extra $1.50. There’s a vegetarian ramen option, which I personally find an abomination, but I guess could be helpful if you’re a ramen lover with vegetarian friends who doesn’t want to be embarrassed when they insist upon ordering a side dish of plain rice for lunch. I give it 3/5, meaning that from now on I will eat at Yasha 3 times a week and at Jin 5 times a week.
Service: My waitress was friendly and competent. Overall, 5/5 because nobody got a bowl of hot ramen poured into their lap (which has happened at other establishments I’ve visited).
Cost: Firstly, Yasha is cash only for now, which is a bummer. Prices for ramen range from $8.5 for Shitake Mushroom Ramen to $13.75 for extra spicy Tonkotsu Ramen. At Jin, the cheapest ramen is $10, Shio Ramen, but it also comes with a lot more toppings and sounds much tastier. I give Yasha’s cost 3.5/5, because the ramen is cheaper in money but will make you poorer in the currency of deliciousness.
Overall: Personally, I want Yasha to stay open because I love ramen and it’s close to my dorm. It may not measure up to Jin in terms of sheer tastiness, but it’s a solid ramen shop, and a nice place to have a meal. Also, unlike at Jin, you don’t have to wait half an hour to sit down. Overall, Yasha gets 4 tender bamboo shoots out of a possible 5 warm edamame beans.