On Jan. 3, we posted a response to someone's query about Momofuku, a somewhat overpraised restaurant that we found a bit lacking in the noodle dept. (tasty overpriced pork buns, though). We had mentioned our curiosity about a place I had always heard about on E. 5th St, Minca. Two hounds--Jesse and Katie--urged us to check it out. Here are the results:
Wow, HUGE thanks to Jesse and Katie.
While there is plenty of "decent" ramen in NYC (Sapporo in midtown, the original Menchanko-tei, and the Third Ave. Menkiu-tei, cold noodles at Rai Rai Ken), Minca is the ONLY local ramen that competes w/ and possibly triumphs over the big boys in Tokyo.
Excellent, rich broth that isn't too salty or needlessly heavy. Perfectly cooked, toothsome noodles. Absolutely stellar pork that is certainly the equal of, if not better than, the more expensive and fetishized Berkshire piggy at Momofuku. We're sold!
We like ramen: I worked for a Japanese company, my girlfriend lived in Japan. This is the closest I've come to joys of eating Kyushu style black-pig ramen w/o leaving my neighborhood. The prices are just a hair high compared to the old wave of East Village ramen, but they're certainly not worth complaining over. And the whole preparation is a cut above. The ingredients are solid quality, but not fussy.
Basically, this place would be a standout were it located in a city like like Hakata or Sapporo or in a residential part of Tokyo (say, Nakano or Setagaya). It's the ramen fix we've been jonesing for after 13 damn years in this town! Again, thank you.