Cuisine: Japanese , Noodle Shops/Bars
Menu: View the Menu
My first experience with Japanese noodle soup was at a little place called Men Ken Tei. It was a favorite haunt for Japanese businessmen who crowded its counters gorging themselves on huge bowls of soup. The restaurant has since disappeared, a casualty of 9-11, but there are other places in town that offer a similar experience, although I still haven't found one that has
topped it just yet.
Menchanko-Tei is relatively close.
While serving as a magnet for Japanese workers, the restaurant also welcomes tourists, and people like myself who simply like to taste foods of different cultures.
The house soup - Menchanko - is served in a big cast iron bowl with a wooden ladle. The broth is rich and packed with thick ramen noodles, crisp vegetables, chicken, bits of tofu and two beady-eyed shrimps floating atop with their whiskers still attached. You'll also find a traditional fish ball and a sticky rice cake which, while interesting, was a bit gummy for my liking. At under ten dollars, the soup is fit for a meal, but diners are welcome to add from a list of extras including simmered pork
and Gyoza dumplings.
Other dishes on the menu include Oden, a hearty seafood stew, served with bundles of yam noodles, in a kelp-based stock. It's a dish that dates back more than 300 years. You'll also find sushimi and tempura, as well as several grilled fish dishes.
Desserts include pumpkin pudding
and a creamy panna cotta with strawberry sauce.
Neighborhood: West 50s
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