Today, New York City welcomes yet another Japanese chain expanding into the U.S. This time it’s Tonchin, a tonkotsu ramen-focused restaurant based in Tokyo that opens tonight in Midtown at 13 West 36th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues.
Tonchin has four kinds of ramen on the menu, which is in full below. Common to New York is the classic tonkotsu or spicy tantan; less so is the smoked dashi ramen with a pork broth, smoky fish oil, and clams. Of note is that the noodles here are made in-house daily, rather than trucked in from the prolific Sun Noodle. Small plates include pork ginger gyoza and tuna tartare with yuzu pepper, while some rice bowls fill out the rest of the menu. Drinks are also Japanese-accented, like the wasabi vodka tonic or shiso Moscow mule.
The 60-seat space looks very casual, with a bar up front and a view into the open kitchen at the rear. Tonchin opened in Tokyo in 1992 and now has 16 locations across Japan. The Sugeno family, which still owns them all, also operates 70 other restaurants across Asia. Brothers Toui and Anan Sugeno brought the ramen concept to NYC with chef Masaru Tada.
New York has turned into a mini-Japan as of late, with the openings of tons of Japanese imports like Naoki, Okuda, EAK Ramen, Ikinari, and more. Tonight, Tonchin joins the scene with temporary hours of 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with eventual expansion to 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.