By Ling-Mei Wong
If you’re looking for some hot, soupy bliss to warm your belly against the bitter New England chill, look no farther than Porter Square. Yume Wo Katare elevates pork and ramen to a singular culinary art, making it the perfect antidote to this winter season.
There is nothing else on the menu, apart from noodles and your choice of two or five slices of juicy pork cha-su ($12 and $14, respectively). Takeout cha-su is also sold for $15. While the menu offers add-ons such as garlic, extra cabbage and bean sprouts, the pork-flavored ramen broth is the star of the show.
And what a broth it is. Decadent pork bone permeates each mouthful, complementing the rich and unctuous thick-cut cha-su and chewy hand-pulled noodles. Yume Wo Katare’s ramen is unapologetically heavy, with the fatty pork generously seasoned with salt. Boiled vegetables alleviate the richness somewhat, but take your time savoring each soupy spoonful rather than gulping it down in one go.
To offset the creamy texture of the broth, it’s best to pour yourself a glass of water or order hot tea ($2), which comes in a heated metal can.
At the end of their meals, sated customers are told either “Good job” for finishing the ramen and meat, “Next time” for not finishing or “Perfect” for slurping down the ramen, meat and soup. While the meal is gloriously delicious, it is a heavy one. Try not to put yourself in a self-induced food coma for the sake of being declared “Perfect!” by everyone in the restaurant. Whether you earn a “Next time” or “Perfect”, you are sure to walk out of Yume Wo Katare in a blissful, pork-induced daze.
Yume Wo Katare occupies a modest space in the heart of Porter Square, with roughly 20 seats arranged in three rows facing an open kitchen. Since its opening in 2013, lines out the door have been intimidating, although less of a problem closer to its 11 p.m. closing time. The restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Yume Wo Katare (夢を語れ)
1923 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02140
This post is also available in: Chinese