Since opening, Tamashii Ramen has made a decent splash in the city's ramen scene with two locations, but at least a two meter high wave in the minds of Queens residents. I love Queens, but I have come to think of its residents as having something of a severe Napoleon complex. I would prefer to take advantage of the splendor of all five boroughs and beyond, but for those that believe everything is possible in one county, Tamashii is a good addition.
We started our meal with a nice plate of takoyaki ($5.25, below), one octopus tentacle wrapped in wheat flour batter and lightly fried to preserve the interior gooeyness. I would have loved to have had my own squeeze bottles of Japanese mayo and takoyaki sauce at the table so that I could have quadrupled their quantities.
I came to this efficiently run, workaday place first for a weekend lunch and ordered the specialty of the house, Tamashii ramen ($10.95, below), a nice fatty broth which the menu describes as "light and clean." Of the three bowls I have consumed, this standard remains my favorite.
Less "light and clean," but not as flavorful is the miso ramen ($11.95, below), which I added plenty of shichimi to for the flavor kick I desired. Like the house special, this bowl comes with very good pieces of chasyu, menma, and egg. The noodles in their bowls will not blow anyone away but definitely do not distract from the meal.
More flavorful is the champon ($12.95, below), described as a spicy seafood soup. We added a lot of red pepper to the broth to get it to being actually spicy, but once that was done the dish was on point. Besides the octopus and shrimp you can see in the photo, there are two large mussels submerged, the bowl is definitely not stingy.
They also have a vegetarian version of the champon, which scares me a little, and quite an extensive menu of non-ramen options for those not in the mood for noodles. It probably would not have made so much business sense for such a specific noodle place to open in Astoria or Long Island City without a large list of Japanese favorites to satisfy all tastes. Astoria is not that far away from Midtown, but now satisfactory ramen is even closer to home for some.