Niche is Shigetoshi Nakamura’s newest restaurant, located right next door to his flagship ramen shop, Nakamura. Niche serves Mazemen, a style of ramen that does not come with broth.
Since they just opened in January, they’re kind of still in their “soft opening” phase, but they’re definitely taking it all in stride. The current menu features 5 options of mazemen – steak, smoked salmon, vegetable, clam, and a rotating option. On our visit in February, they offered a Crème de Bacon mazemen.
We started off by splitting the Uni Toast ($8), which comes 2 to an order. The toast is piled high with wonderfully fresh uni. It was sweet, buttery, and oh-so-good.
I had the Russ & Roe Mazemen ($20), which features house-smoked salmon and ramen noodles in a Kombu broth with olive oil and cod roe. I opted to add in ikura for an extra $7. This is a pricey bowl of noodles, but it was a delicious bowl of noodles. The broth was light, flavorful, and paired very well with the salmon and ikura.
My friend had the Steak Mazemen ($18), which features cubes of steak over ramen noodles in a mixture of boiled pork paste, garlic, soy sauce, and Kombu broth. The steak is fire torched over a tiny lava stone grill, giving it a wonderful char and a smoky finish. If you’re looking for a more savory dish, this is the right one for you. The steak was soft and tender once you bite into it. The mazemen was packed with flavor.
We arrived around 5:45pm on a Wednesday and were seated right away. We had our pick of seats. But by the time it hit around 6:30pm, the small communal table was packed. I highly recommend coming early if you don’t want to encounter a wait.