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Cambridge Yume Wo Katare: real ramen

Hirotaka Yamashita (top left) and his father, Hideyuki Yamashita, eat ramen at Yume Wo Katare in Cambridge’s Porter Square. Chef and owner Tsuyoshi Nishioka (left) prepares a bowl of the restaurant’s sole offering (right).Photos by Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

Ramen, the Japanese noodle soup and ultimate comfort food, is in demand. If there is any doubt, look at the new shop Yume Wo Katare. On any given night — in the rain, midweek — a line stretches out the door. People wait for hours to sample chef-owner Tsuyoshi Nishioka's food.

Yume Wo Katare serves just one thing, a hearty, heaping, ultra-porky version of ramen: pork-soy broth, thick, handmade noodles, pork slices, and pork fat. Oh, and cabbage and bean sprouts. Vegetables! The only choices you need to make are whether you want two slices of pork ($12) or a truly piggy five ($14). Nishioka, who operated several ramen shops in his native Japan, also offers the addition of ninniku, chopped garlic.


In Porter Square, in the space formerly occupied by Zing! Pizza, the place is tiny, with just a handful of seats. It is cash only. Those who make it to the head of the line purchase tickets to be traded for their supper. Sit at the counter and watch the chefs do their thing. Getting in line before Yume Wo Katare opens at 6 is not the worst idea for anyone serious about scratching a ramen itch.

As for the name, “Yume Wo Katare” means “Tell your dreams.” That’s what the frames on the walls are for. One can pay a fee to post one’s fondest wishes there — achieving world peace, winning the lottery, getting another bowl of Yume Wo Katare’s ramen without having to wait on line. The odds aren’t great, but anyone can dream.
Devra First

Devra First can be reached at dfirst@globe
. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.