Tag Archives: sake

Hell Ya, Jinya (Ramen)!

Because I live on an island, questions like, “if you are stuck on a deserted island, and you had to pick one ramen place to sustain you for the rest of time…” becomes maybe 1% more relevant. So, similar to my search for the perfect girl, I have wandered the streets of Manhattan (and recently veered into Brooklyn) in search of the perfect ramen joint – hoping that someone will say, “of all the ramen joints in this town, you walk into mine” … or something like that.

Anyways, emo-side-rant-aside, my leader for the last two years has been Totto’s chicken broth ramen. But yesterday I found an usurper to the crown in the form of Jinya Ramen.

Address: 24 Greenwich Ave, between Charles St & 10th St in West Village
Price: $11-14 for ramen, $4-9 for appetizers, and you’re not allowed to order the rice bowls at a ramen joint
Hours:
Takes a break between lunch and dinner – til 11pm on weekdays, 12am on Friday-Saturdays
Wait / Reservations: They take reservations but I got in Saturday night without a wait – YMMV

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I was feeling down, so I ordered the fruitiest glass of sake. Hmm look at the wood decor. This place is pretty classy compared to Totto or Menkui.

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There are moments that you hear five words about a girl dish and you just know you have to see her try it. Here, that was the homemade organic tofu, made fresh…at your table! So it’s like booking at Circle, where they bring the delicious “fruit” to you! Jk. But so needless to say, I didn’t need much convincing to know that I wanted to bring the waiter over to pour out some for me.

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They give you some toppings and you wait about 5 minutes for the tofu to chill and thicken. Really freaking good…

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For the main, I got the Tonkotsu Black, with about 5 toppings included and you can ask for extra fresh garlic (pressed by yours truly). Like the perfect Asian girl, I probably wished there was more meat in the soup, but it was secretly fun to have her make me do some work for my meal.

Next Time
Like the girl who keeps you wanting for more, I’d go back for the shrimp toast and crispy rice with spicy tuna, and “umami-flavored” sake, and the rest of the ramen choices. With spicy chicken ramen and fried crispy chicken options on the menu, is this the mythical best of both worlds that could overtake both Totto and Mad4??

And don’t worry, you can test drive and take this model home with you, it’s a mere $350k initial investment.

Then I can cook my tears into my very own ramen:

Yippee Ki Yay Momofuku

You know what the difference between Chinese food and Western food is? Chinese people keep it simple. You can cook most dishes with either a pan or a pot – forget grill, fry, broil, steam….just stir-fry it or throw a bunch of deliciousness into boiling water. Forget 20 different types of sauces – a typical Chinese cabinet has soy sauce, hot sauce, salt, sugar and maybe some sesame oil and that’s it. Why do you think chopsticks were invented…Asians can eat every item on the menu with two sticks (yes, even soup).

So, naturally, it makes sense that Western restaurants invented this term “Asian Fusion” to over-complicate things and charge more money. But I’m sucker for anytime an Asian dude does something cool in “White America” (see Lin, Jeremy), so I had to go see what this lucky peach was all about…

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Dessert – before. (That’s right, I’m leading off with the dessert first because it was the best)

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Dessert – after.

Best part of dinner was the delivery service from Momofuku Milk Bar. Yes, the purveyor of awesome pies and cookies (with awesomer names) hand delivers straight to your table. In our case, we sampled the Crack Pie (to die for), Candy Bar Pie (Three words: Giant. Reese’s. PeanutButterCup.), and Compost Cookie.

WP_000682Main course – pork belly, really torn on this. On one foot, it was absolutely delicious. On the other foot, my mom can make it all day err day and this whole thing was ~70 dollars for 3 people if I remember correctly.

Beverages – they have a good selection of sake, not overpriced by NYC restaurant standards and knowledgeable waitresses (since this is a classy restaurant). The glasses in this picture contain unfiltered sake – which is supposed to be cloudy and fruity/sweeter, except ours was clear like water and not particularly sweet. Hmmm.

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Appetizer – I wanted an app that was going to be filling and has some meat in it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t have our proverbial cake and eat it too (for now) and so ended with this broccoli thing that was surprisingly good.

Address: 15 West 56th Street, New York, NY
Price: ~$40 / person
Wait / Reservations: Not too bad for normal sit down, but special advance notice is required for the large format (chicken is $175 for 4 to 8 guests, lamb is $325 for 6 to 10 guests) – potentially great btw but I don’t have the guts to try

Honesty, I could probably write several hundred more words about this, but I’ll leave it off by saying that if it weren’t for the great company and having ate a late lunch, I would’ve been severely disappointed (mostly because of the admittedly high expectations.) Sorry mother peach, the hype has rendered you more like J-Lin in Houston than Linsanity in NYC.