Hoboken has been in dire need of a good ramen restaurant. Up until now, Vivi's has been the only place to serve ramen, that too pretty sub-par ramen. Has South Street Fish & Ramen Co. come to fill this void? Caitlin and I decided to find out for ourselves.

South Street Fish & Ramen Co., located at 219 Washington Street, opened up in early January. Specializing in seafood, ramen, and poke bowls/sushi burritos, they serve both pork and chicken-based broth bowls, and offer a wide variety of proteins, such as seafood, pork, and tofu. 

To fully assess whether or not South Street Fish & Ramen Co. is worth going to for a full ramen experience, I decided to breakdown my observations into four parts: the atmosphere of the restaurant, the broth, the noodles, and the protein/toppings.

Caitlin Uang

The atmosphere of South Street Fish & Ramen Co. didn’t strike me as authentic. They had a nautical theme that was represented through decorative fish trawls, shells, and anchors. Ramen, being a Japanese comfort dish, deserves a cozy, homey atmosphere, which wasn't well executed through their cafeteria-looking layout. At a lot of authentic ramen shops, there are long, welcoming counters and/or small booths for a more intimate experience. However, at South Street Fish & Ramen Co. the tables were arranged in long rows against the walls, leaving a very open feel. It terms of a standard ramen restaurant, I found South Street very unusual, but as a whole, it had an appealing atmosphere.

Caitlin Uang

Moving on to the actual food, Cait decided to order the Original Ton Men, which has a pork-based broth and came with braised pork, as well as and a number of toppings including onion, bean sprouts, seaweed, kikurage, bamboo, roasted onion flakes, and a soft boiled egg. Pork-based broths are usually a milky, golden color, which was what Cait received. The broth was a little too salty for Cait’s taste, but there were no other complaints. Her noodles were thin, straight noodles, as expected from a pork-based broth, and were firm in consistency and held the soup pretty well. The kikurage, bamboo shoots, and seaweed complemented the flavors of the bowl very well. However, the braised pork was not as tender or flavorful as Cait would have liked. Overall, the Original Ton Men was a decent bowl of ramen. Cait rated it a 6.5 out of 10.

Since Cait got a pork-based broth, I decided to get a chicken-based broth. I ended up getting the Miso Ramen, which came with braised pork, a soft-boiled egg, sesame, onion, seaweed, bamboo, kale, and roasted onion flakes. Miso styled ramen is generally a heavier type of ramen, but I wasn’t expecting the broth to be as salty as it was. Also, it seemed to be a little more oily than I would’ve liked. Many ramen shops finish off their ramen bowls with a small ladle full of flavorful oil or fat, but the miso broth was already salty enough. Miso ramen usually comes with thin, wavy noodles, which is what I received. The noodles started off a little softer than I would’ve liked, but I’m sure it was just a mistake, as Cait’s noodles were fine. I thought they gave me a generous serving of braised pork, but it was a little chewy and not very flavorful. Similar to Cait’s bowl, the toppings livened up the ramen by adding crunch and flavor. The roasted onion flakes and onions added a nice dimension as well. I thought the kale was an interesting touch; it grew quite soggy in the soup and made it feel less authentic, but it added an interesting flavor to the bowl. Overall, I thought it was an okay bowl of ramen.

All in all, my ramen experience at South Street Fish & Ramen Co. wasn’t the best, but certainly wasn’t the worst. The ramen was definitely better than Vivi’s, which is the only other notable ramen shop in Hoboken. It’s no Ippudo or Ichiran, but if you’re craving ramen, this place is definitely a solid place to hit up.

P.S. You get a 10% student discount if you show your student I.D., so definitely give this place a try! Because who doesn’t love discounts?