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Rockmeisha for some Kyushu specialties

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Rockmeisha for some Kyushu specialties

Eric Eto | Feb 18, 2006 02:02 AM

I recently caught a review of Rockmeisha in one of the free Japanese papers and my interest was a bit piqued since the chef/owner hails from Kyushu and has several specialty items from the region that I haven't seen on other menus.

First, one main Kyushu item is the tonkotsu ramen. Although the portion is pretty meager for the $9.50 price, it's pretty good. Good thick broth, but the chashu is cut thin and isn't quite so satisfying if you're looking to chew on something porky. I suppose the price reflects the special noodle he gets directly from Hakata city in Kyushu. It's a thin noodle so again, like the pork, it's not quite as toothsome as the thicker noodles, but you can definitely taste the quality. Since I find the quality at Minca to be variable, this could be an alternative place for a tonkotsu fix.

One item I haven't found on other menus is DORIYA, which is kind of like a cross between risotto and gratin. The one at Rockmeisha is an ebi-doriya, so you get a creamy rice, mixed with shrimp and covered with cheese and some breadcrumbs and baked (the breadcrumbs aren't so prevalent in Japan, however). It's a satisfying and comforting dish, and they do a decent job of it. Not the best I've had, but at least I now know that I can get some.

Other Kyushu specialties were slight clunkers, like the tonsoku (pigs feet that's been braised, and then fried crispy), and the tako-bou (which are suppose to be octopus balls, or takoyaki, made deep dish okonomiyaki style in a pan. Seemed a bit underdone, and frankly, I'd rather just make this at home.

Also suprisingly for a Kyushu-style izakaya, they didn't have a selection of shochu, just one of the cheap supermarket brands.

So there are some hits and some misses at Rockmeisha, but I'll probably be back to check up on the quality of the tonkotsu ramen and for the doriya, among other items.

Rockmeisha
11 Barrow St
(West Village)
212-675-7775

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