Reviewed Sunshine Co (3/5) on Yelp.
Reviewed Al Di La Vino (5/5) on Yelp.
She says: This was our second visit to the Brooklyn ramen shop and I don’t know why I didn’t remind myself of the verdict from the first visit – way too salty! Stay away! Fine, I have a slightly lower sodium threshold than most folks, but this bowl of garlic soy ramen was out of control! I almost wanted to ask the waiter for a cup of hot water so that I could dilute the salt content. It is very unfortunate that the entire bowl got ruined this way because the other contents in the bowl were quite decent. I especially enjoyed the gooey egg swimming in my bowl – Japanese poached egg? Most other places offer halved eggs but I found Zu Zu’s egg interpretation quite successful. And I didn’t even mind the strong garlic flavor at the time of eating, although Olaf will tell you that it lingered in the apartment for at least a day. Oh weh.
I also found the prices on the high side. I mean, this isn’t the most trafficked street in town and the most interesting-sounding ramen on the menu would set you back $14. You definitely get better deals (and much yummier food) by staying in the city. But if you find yourself stranded on the desolate 4th Ave in Brooklyn with nowhere to go, AND you don’t mind drinking salt water, this place is for you.
He says: Granted, it is a salty dish. But my green curry ramen was pretty delicious. The broth was really rich, pleasantly spicy, a good note of green curry supported by subtle lemon grass and basil flavors (7). The noodles were thin and firm (7). Most noteworthy ingredient was the soft-boiled egg which was super delicious and had an amazing texture (10). The pork is tasty, maybe a little to fatty (8). So overall, it’s not a cheap place and yes, too much salt, but my curry was still a very good bowl of ramen and deserves an overall 7 out of 10.
We enjoy eating ramen. We like to eat it a lot. But having started a ramen blog makes the eating experience different than in the past, somewhat more meaningful. And since Ramenized went live, there’s a more conscious push to get to the next bowl asap.
So we found ourselves back at Menchanko Tei two nights ago. It’s one of those things- before you are aware of something, you never encounter it. After you learn of it, you find yourself often confronted by it. We went to Menchanko Tei on E. 45th St the first time last Friday. Saturday night we were dropped off after a snowboard trip right around the corner from the restaurant. But because of our gear, we wanted to spare this fairly classy joint of our presence. After a short debate whether to try out the other branch on W. 55th St or not, Tuesday night we found ourselves back at this Midtown ramen temple.
We started with a small dish of Tako Wasabi (octopus). It’s like an octopus cerviche that will clear your sinus! We loved it’s slimy-ness, too. It’s definitely one of those appetizers that you don’t inhale, but instead accompanies you throughout the meal. We decided to order a traditional bowl of Shoyu instead of a heavier broth, much tempted as we were (gotta watch our waistlines!). The photo of the Menchanko soup really called out to our stomachs so we also got a Miso Menchanko noodle. Excellent choices.
The miso came in a huge piping hot cast iron bowl and had all that would satisfy a non-pork ramen eater like me: tofu, fried tofu, shrimps, cabbage, spring onions, soy sprouts, fish ball, and chicken (8.5/10). Paradise! I was especially pleased to enjoy the flavorful juices offered the whole prawns. That’s an authentic Asian dish, alright. The broth is a complex mixture of soy-based broth and miso, with seafood flavor (9/10). The Menchanko noodle is thicker than the typical ramen noodles. Al dente, bouncy, chewy, you name it, it has it (8.5/10). The serving was so big that we had to take home half of the bowl, which was perfectly fine, because I knew that even as leftover, these noodles will be good.
Olaf had the the shoyu ramen ($8.50) which were really great (8 on a scale of 10), the broth superb (9), firm and yummy noodles, produced freshly every day on premises (8), other ingredients included bamboo, slice of fish cake, a small piece of nori (6). The pork was good but a little dry (7). We added a soft boiled egg which was an extra $1.50 but it was perfectly soft and tasty.
It was overall a great experience, especially with the average price tag of under $10 a bowl. I am sure we will become regulars at this place. East Village has always been our go-to for Japanese food, even though we know that it was Midtown that the Japanese first conquered. Midtown – our new frontier.