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Ramen Boy: Noodling now

The crew from Yakatori Boy is behind this spiffy Chinatown storefront.

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.