Tuesday, December 8, 2015

[Ramen Adventure #6] Mentoku Ramen: Quiet Newcomer in NYC


Compared to other new ramen restaurants, Mentoku is a bit less well-known but deserves a mention.

Opened recently in New York City, this sleek new shop is not afraid to open in the same area as the city's biggest ramen branch, Ippudo (Westside). You could easily missed Mentoku since there are so many other restaurants along the block. It's located by between 50th Street and 51st Street on 9th Ave.

Source
I went in for a weekday lunch to try their lunch special (choice of ramen + choice of simple donburi rice OR salad on the side). The shop offers mainly Hakata-style ramen, which is basically ramen in pork bone broth. But I went in to try something you normally wouldn't see at a ramen restaurant: Match Green Tea Ramen.

Matcha Green Tea Ramen, $11
Broth: matcha, soymilk
Noodles: thin noodles
Toppings: konjac, kikurage mushrooms, bamboo shoots, scallions


Yup, no kidding! Their Matcha Ramen is a vegetarian dish featuring a broth based off green tea powder and soy milk. This clear broth ramen is a light ramen compared to the usual porky ramen you'd have in the city. Honestly I could barely taste any matcha in the soup (I guess that's a good thing!)---but the soup is delicious for a light ramen.

In replacement of the usual pork chashu, something called "konjac" (蒟蒻) is used. Konjac is a plant that is seen in many Asian cuisines. Its texture is similar to chewy jelly (think nata jelly in your bubble tea drinks).


The mentaiko rice is pretty standard: like something you can make at home. Maybe a little bit more roe? My taste palette dried up towards the end so I mixed some of my left-over green tea broth into the rice---and it tasted good!

Overall

In general this place is pretty nice for first timers. Staff is warm and friendly despite customer problems. I will definitely return to try their Hakata ramen. CASH ONLY

Location
744 9th Avenue, New York

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