After having a few good bowls at Menkui-Tei, I figured I would try this other hyphenated place in midtown closer to my wife’s office. She had been here before and said it was good, but this day we both had sub-par bowls. The broth was a little bland and watery. I also saw one of the servers pull something out of a bowl with his fingers (carefully, mind you) before putting the bowl in front of a patron. Yuck. I hope those hands were clean!
Anyway, the neat thing about this place is you can get a lunch meal with a side bowl of rice and pork. A bit too much food though, as the ramen portions are large.
I had the regular pork ramen:
My wife had the Kurobuta pork, a better quality meat for an up charge, yet my slices tasted better than hers. Go figure.
131 E 45th St
New York, NY 10017
Ise Menkui-Tei is one of my top ramen spots at the moment, and the reason is pretty simple: you can order very specifically: meaning you can designate the firmness or softness of your noodles, and the strength or thickness of your broth. I have been getting the Hakata ramen (pork bone broth) with firm noodles and strong broth. This seems to produce the best tasting of the pork tonkotsu varietals.
My wife tried a seafood ramen here (Chan Pon) that sounded awesome on paper, but the cabbage ultimately made the broth too watery and bland.
Best bet: stick to my ordering instructions above and you’ll be happy. At under $9 per bowl, this place is a keeper. Also, the add-ons are pretty cheap too, like extra noodles or egg. By the way – stick to the regular egg. The seasoned egg has a sweet pickle flavor that doesn’t match well with the ramen broth.
Here’s a shot of the pan fried dumplings. Pretty good!
But remember: you are here for the ramen. STAY FOCUSED!
And FYI, you may want to try the unique black sesame ramen:
58 W 56th St
New York, NY 10019