The noodle soups are steaming and the gyoza are sizzling at Ramen Boy (204 N. Ninth St., 267-687-1355), now in its soft-opening phase on the Chinatown block that's home to Sang Kee. It's owned by the team from Yakitori Boy, the karaoke bar a few blocks away.
The decor - heavy on the wood, down to the stools - will remind you of Zama in Rittenhouse.
Chef Ben Watanabe, a native of Yokohama (which makes this Yokahaman Ramen), offers four soups ($10-$13): a classic tonkotsu with pork; a miso with chicken, vegetable, and egg; a spicy ramen with beef; and a vegan-friendly vegetable ramen whose broth is soy milk and miso.
Gyoza ($5 and $6 for a six-piece order) are whipped up to order on a cool imported grill that gets the dumplings crispy on the bottom while subjecting them to a steam bath. Varieties: pork; chicken and garlic; spicy shrimp; and cheddar and shredded beef.
Beef and cheese? Wait. Yes, this is Watanabe's contribution to Philadelphia culture - a Philly cheesesteak gyoza.
Tastes great with the wasabi dipping sauce.
Initially, Ramen Boy open for lunch and dinner every day except for Monday.