Downtown, located above and owned by the folks of Lefty’s, is a wooden-clad hall which has a few different styles of the traditional Japanese broth-and-noodle dishes (such as the shōyu ramen bowl) and some sides and smalls to complement.
Best Ramen in CT for sure, no frills and no fuss with service, casual and edgy atmosphere in a vibey part of town.
The shoyu Ramen is my pick - impossibly tender pork and perfectly balanced broth.
Also if you don’t order the buttermilk fried chicken bao then you’ve made a horrible mistake. It is sensational.
Small tucked away upstairs with great Japanese style decor. The pork belly ramen was brilliant. Steamed bun for starters was perfect. Definitely will go back!
Terrible!! 3 of us ordered a take away on Wednesday and none of couldn't eat the ramen because it was so spices, it never said how hot it would be on the menu. I then opened the ramen the following morning to find it was bubbling! Surely it was not freshly made if by the next morning it was bubbeling?
Hmm, wasn't so keen on a repeat visit, based on some of the reviews here, but so glad I did! The restaurant is bigger than when I first when, so easier to get a table (as you can't book). We started with a short rib bao and a crispy chicken bao - perfect bite to share between 3 of us. The crispy chicken wasn't on the menu (but a friend had alerted me to it) - they use the chicken from the chicken waffles at Lefty's in it, and is DELICIOUS! Could just have had another round of those for dinner. By the time we ordered main course, the miso beef ramen was sold out, which was disappointing. I was worried the laksa would be too hot, but our fantastic waitress brought me a little taster of the broth to test, and said she'd put the sambal oelek on the side, so we could adjust the heat. The dish was fantastic - soft, juicy chicken in a really comforting laksa base. Others had the pork belly ramen, which was less fatty looking than I remember, and got a rave review. Will definitely be back!
Do you want to get sick??? I surely didn't before I arrived here. Read this to find out more!
I thought I would try out this restaurant, based on some feedback I had received on Zomato. After eating here, I don't know whether I should be more disappointed at the restaurant or the elevated reviews that people had made. Let me explain my experience.
We arrived at the restaurant with a party of 5 rather early and it was quiet. Thus the ambiance was very relaxed. The place seemed quite dirty, especially the kitchen where I noticed a few electrical wires lying around - which is a huge safety hazard. But I felt like it should have been part and parcel of the experience. Hence the name Downtown Ramen. Before ordering our drinks we noticed that there was a small selection - but the waitress kindly said we could order drinks from the restaurant below. We opted for drinking their drinks. 3 of us ordered bottled water, one ordered a an Appletizer and the other a glass of Chardonnay. The Chardonnay was vinegar at that stage and had clearly been sitting for quite some time. To avoid making a scene we just left the wine and didn't drink it. Our waitress informed us that she had not tasted anything on the menu, as she was allergic to all the food. Which didn't help us when we decided to make our choices. Had I known then, what I was in for - I would also say that I was allergic to the food. When we went to wash our hands in the bathroom - we noticed dirty underwear on the floor.
We decided to start off with Bao and three people at the table got it. The Bao was presented differently to what I am used too - but was acceptable. The flavours were there, but it felt like there was too much vinegar on the "pickles" that were placed on top of it.
Then we received our mains. Four people at the table got the Shoyu and one got the Miso ramen. The presentation was good - although it must be noted that there was quite a bit of oil sitting on the top. I assumed that the pork may have been the cause of this. Once I tasted the Shoyu, my palate first noted the salt content was very high - which could be expected from a broth. I was expecting a flavour burst - once the saltiness had gone away - of meat, seaweed and broth. Sadly I never got this. The noodles were cooked nicely. The pork was very fatty and soft, it would have been better if the fat on top had been rendered - which would have brought a flavour burst to the broth. I had one taste of the pork and left the rest as I felt it was unpalatable. All the people who had the Shoyu quietly left theirs too after tasting it. I tasted the Miso ramen and actually enjoyed it. It was much tastier than the Shoyu and the meat had a well-rounded flavour.
I left Downtown Ramen with a feeling of dissatisfaction in my mouth and the car trip home was rather quiet - which is unusual for 5 friends. When someone brought up the food - we all agreed that it was not satisfactory.
About 3 hours after the night had come to a close - I started feeling rather sick and about 4 hours after my meal I was visiting the bathroom frequently. I had food poisoning and so did my other 2 housemates. The next day my other friend phoned to say that she had been up all night feeling incredibly sick. Could it be coincidence that we all ate the same thing from another place - highly unlikely when the only thing we ate together that day was the food at Downtown Ramen.
As a consumer I understand that these things happen - as a chef and coming from the restaurant industry - I know that situations like these are unacceptable and are avoided at all costs.
If you decide - I should go to Downtown Ramen and think "maybe they just had a bad night" know that the hygiene in the place is clearly unacceptable and bad nights can be avoided, especially if the restaurant is not full.