True confession time: I don’t really appreciate ramen. Ramen has been around for literally forever (including the iconic $0.05 red packages at every grocery store), but it seems to suddenly be the “in” thing in Indianapolis. We are getting ramen restaurants everywhere! And people love them! And keep going! And spend $15 for fancy noodles in fancy broth with fancy toppings. It looks good and smells good, but I have to be in a very particular mood to fork over cash for noodles and broth when I can just microwave a package at home.
But fortunately, I was in that particular mood last week when I had Friday off from school and the snow was coming down and I felt it was the perfect time to call my sister and convince her to go to lunch with me. We bundled up in coats and boots and journeyed through the snow and storms to go exactly six blocks away to Moon Rabbit Ramen, the pop-up lunch spot located inside Neal Brown’s new Ukiyo restaurant. (I have not yet eaten dinner at Ukiyo, so someone please invite me-I’ve heard good things!)
We were seated right away at the bar area where we could (sort of) watch someone prepare the evening dishes (counter tops were really high, so it was hard to see over). We were seated next to some total ramen fangirls who “oohed” and “aahed” over every.single.thing. Constantly. For the whole meal. I mean, they really, REALLY liked the ramen.
The menu is small with three (maybe rotating?) ramen options and some assorted side dish options. We wanted hot tea, which is not normally on the menu, but I think our server made a quick grocery store run to pick some up because everyone in the restaurant seemed to want hot tea. Limited wine and beer options were also available. My sister and I both ordered the shio (salt) ramen ($15), which was topped with mushrooms, egg, and pork belly, and soaked in a flavorful broth. It was pretty and smelled delicious.
But I’m sorry. I really, really want to be cool and like all the cool foodie fads, but I’m just not into this one. I thought the broth was too salty and the noodles were bland. I’m sure I am just not appreciating the art and labor and flavors that went into my beautiful bowl, but that’s where I’m at. My experience was lovely with the restaurant’s bright, open interior showing off clean lines and a stylish, minimalistic vibe and we had a very attentive server. It was such a cold day, so drinking warm broth out of even warmer bowls was a real treat. I enjoyed everything about being there-I just didn’t really like the ramen. But I’m pretty sure it’s just me.
So, everyone else, go enjoy! I’ll wait here at the unpopular table until cupcake shops come back in style.
Moon Rabbit Ramen (located inside Ukiyo)
4907 N. College Avenue
Open 11am-3pm, Monday-Saturday