The idea behind ramen noodles holds much more cultural value than a simple just-add-water-and microwave disposable container found in the instant meal aisle of your average grocery store, or the easily accessible go-to dinner for college students. Unbeknownst to many, the history behind Japanese ramen and broth originally finds its roots in China, before it was introduced into Japanese cuisine. Some believe the word “ramen” comes from the Chinese word “la mian,” which translates to “pulled-noodle.” Jimmy Xiao, owner of new Woodbury restaurant Ramen Station, which opened in January near Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping in City Centre, was inspired by a lack of Japanese ramen cuisine in the community. “I didn’t see any other similar restaurants here,” he says, “so that’s why I decided to open.”
According to Xiao, the most popular item on the menu thus far is the tonkotsu ramen. This dish is comprised of egg noodles in a broth made from tender braised pork, and stirred with green onion, egg, seaweed, beansprouts and spinach ($9.50). Second place in popularity goes to the champon ramen, which boasts pork broth alongside egg, fish cakes, green onion, braised pork, seaweed, beansprouts and spinach ($10.25). For those who aren’t as inclined to try ramen noodle plates, Ramen Station also offers grilled hibachi entrees—vegetable, chicken, steak or shrimp—served with miso soup and white rice cooked in house (lunch specials, $7.95–$9.25). The menu also features a nice selection of appetizers, including spring egg rolls, gyoza, edamane and shrimp, vegetable or yam tempura ($2-$6.25).