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“Underrated Gem”
Review of Raku

Raku
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Ranked #3,191 of 13,303 Restaurants in New York City
Neighborhood: East Village
Restaurant details
Neighborhood: East Village
Reviewed 5 March 2021

Walked over on a Tuesday afternoon after seeing my local haunt, Udon West, was closed (hopefully not for good!). Raku proved to be a pleasantly surprising alternative at the next price point up, and we were happy with the service, experience, and quality of food.

Upon arrival, the server/hostess seated us with a contact tracing form to fill out. I don't particularly remember if they checked temperatures - I've been eating out a lot and all my weird 2020 memories are blending together. There are bottles of hand sanitizer at each table and the butane heaters keep the outdoor structure mildly warmed.

Ordered the yaki nasu (eggplant) to share as a starter. Beef udon for me and tantan udon with a side of shiitake mushrooms for the guy. The eggplant was lowkey fire - the sweet/savory softness of the eggplant with the spiced miso pork on top mixed with a silky quail egg yolk: divine. The udon was fantastic - the noodles looked knife-cut rather than extruded (like the frozen packs at the supermarket). Broth was mild but beefy - I added a shichimi pack to taste. The tantan was deep with sesame flavor and moderately spiced. Completely different flavor profiles for each udon, but both very well done.

Will definitely be going back for another chill lunch!

Date of visit: December 2020
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Thank dtfeast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1 - 5 of 24 reviews

Reviewed 29 September 2019

It's hard to tell this place is a restaurant from the outside. You'll just see the typical Japanese noren, a piece of fabric that is used as a door. You can put your name down on Yelp and they'll message you when your table is ready. The food was hearty and abundant. The udon soup was really good, and so was the katzu pork rice. Don't plan to spend too much time at the table, as you'll get the check minutes after finishing your meal. Cash only.

Date of visit: September 2019
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Thank London_foodies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 9 June 2019 via mobile

This cozy, authentic little space delivered the best udon I’ve had in NYC, fat and away. Excellent service, wonderful menu, and reasonable pricing. I will return often.

Date of visit: June 2019
1  Thank RyanManhattan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 29 April 2019

Have been waiting to try this restaurant for a long time since I first heard all the great reviews. Even with all the hype, everything was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. We had an assortment of appetizers and they all exceeded our expectations. Their dishes are very authentic and reminiscent of my recent trip to Japan. The udon noodles though were DEFINITELY the highlight. We had the Niku and the Gyunan and they were both super tasty. The noodles they use are unique and just the right amount of chewiness. Their broth is complex and savoury. Can't wait to come back again.

Date of visit: April 2019
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1  Thank alvinc394
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 25 April 2019 via mobile

This place is a literal hole in the wall. There is not much seating and it’s very warm inside but the portion is large and these may be the best noodles I’ve ever had. The broth was good but it wasn’t The highlight of the dish, the noodles were so fresh they definitely stood out to me.

We also got the fried chicken since everyone raves about it. It was good, and I would order again, but I’m from the south so It wasn’t anything too special to me.

Date of visit: April 2019
1  Thank lilystine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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