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I’m Mari.
On Marivelous Me! you’ll find recipes, food gifts, food I’ve traveled for and food solutions. Poke around, maybe you’ll find inspiration for something you’re working on. Enjoy! 


Menkui Tei - satisfying a ramen craving

It didn't start off this way but a few weeks ago, Mr. Mari and I ended up on a mini Lord of the Rings quest to eat some ramen. We walked to Rai Rai Ken and Minca only to be greeted on the sidewalk by so many people loitering in front of each restaurant that we knew the wait would be at least 45 minutes per place. We didn't even bother with Momofuku. We were wayyy too hungry for that so we went to our fall back spot: Menkui Tei. Think of Menkui Tei more like a ramen diner dive - a beer postered, glaringly bright high gloss walled and fluorescent lighting kinda place. It doesn't have a pedigree chef or sous vide eggs. They haven't even updated their website to include their downtown location, which has been in existence for at least four years. But never mind those facts. You're not there for finery; you're there to satisfy your lust for a solid and simple, traditional bowl of noodles.

Perhaps it's the lack of land in Japan but the Japanese are corn crazy. They put corn on pizza. Yeah, like that kind of crazy. I too love corn and occasionally succumb to the corn craze so I ordered my miso ramen with extra bean sprouts and corn. The miso ramen comes with some roast pork, bamboo shoots (kind of 'fibrous in a good way' ones), bean sprouts and scallion so I was just gilding the lily. There's plenty of perfectly cooked noodle to topping ratio and the broth is rich without being too salty too. Dosed with a little shichimi (Japanese seven pepper blend), it was exactly what my belly needed.

As I've mentioned before, gyoza is the appetizer of choice with ramen but we decided to shake things up and order the "Fire Wings". Plus, if you ordered a pitcher of beer, they were only two dollars. Well, in that case... There's nothing Asian about these wings, other than they make you thirsty for Kirin beer. They're simple, Buffalo-style wings minus the blue cheese dressing. Plenty meaty and with decent crusty bits. It was an okay enough starter but I'll probably go back to the standard gyoza appetizer for next time, 'cause you know the need for ramen is gonna hit again soon.

Here's the address, since it's not on their site: 63 Cooper Square (3rd Avenue) between 7th & 8th Streets

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