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Minca


Pan
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A Japanese friend who may choose to idendify herself and I went to this place, at 536 East 5th Street between Avs. A and B tonight, at the suggestion of one of her co-workers. We had Gyoza for $4.50, Wahoo (described in the English-language menu as "old fashioned chicken Ramen - Light, chicken & seafood broth") for $8.50, and Charshu Ramen (described in the menu as "6-7 sliced stewed pork on top") for $11.50. The Gyoza were excellent, crisp, tasty, and slightly spicy. The Wahoo was delicious. The Charshu Ramen, which had a very strong taste of roasted garlic, was fabulous! The ramen noodles were al dente (my friend likes them chewier, but they certainly weren't the run-of-the-mill mushy noodles); the broths were complex, wonderful mixtures of taste; and the pork was delicious - especially in the Charshu Ramen, where it had cooked for a long time and soaked up the flavor. We got there around 7:40 or so, I guess, and didn't have to wait on line, but if we had gotten there 15 minutes later, we would have waited a fairly long time (maybe 30 minutes, I'm guessing).

Go early (open 5 P.M. to midnight), and don't wait until the reputation of this great ramen place spreads so far that the line goes down the block. This place looks set to turn into the next Tomoe Sushi, only for ramen.

They have no liquor license, so BYOB if you want it.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I am Pan’s Japanese friend. I work at a small Japanese office and our consensus was “there is no great Ramen place in NYC.” However, one of my co-worker discovered this Minca place last week and told me that Minca is the best Ramen place in NYC so far. So, I asked my friend Pan to explore so-called best Ramen place in NYC.

The place was already crowded when we got there. By the time we left, there was a line of people waiting to eat Ramen. Even the owner of Minca was so overwhelmed by the crowd.

The Ramen I wanted to eat (I forgot the name, but it was one of special and $11.50.) was sold out already, so I choose Charshu ramen. The Charchu Ramen soup was made from Pork and Chicken bones; the soup is milky white color and thick and oily, but not too greasy. Wahoo Ramen soup was made from chicken bones and it’s lighter in taste. Both soup was fabulous! The stewed pork was so delicious -- very tender and tasty. It’s wonderful. Period. :rolleyes:

The noodle was a little soft, but not too bad. However, the noodle was better than other Ramen places.

Pork Gyoza was very garlicky and delicious. It could be a little crispier, but it is possible that they didn’t have enough time to cook long enough to make it crispy.

Overall, I really like this Ramen place a lot and this is the best Ramen soup I had in NYC. By the way, Monday is closed. I am not sure about BYOB policy.

Check out the latest meal!

Itadakimasu

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Anko, the ramen you wanted was Toroniku Ramen (described as "thick broth, slow cooking stewed pork on top"). There is a menupages.com listing for Minca, which includes a link to an English-language menu and information about hours (Tue-Sun: 5pm-12am). It also says BYOB under "General Comments."

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
I"m not sure I like this new person who took over for Azimov.

Was that an ironic remark, considering that his name is on the byline?

Yes, it's more description than review, but the review is ultimately there. [Nitpick mode] I noticed that Toroniku Ramen were misspelled, though (probably a typo).[/nitpick mode]

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I"m not sure I like this new person who took over for Azimov.

Was that an ironic remark, considering that his name is on the byline?

Yes, it's more description than review, but the review is ultimately there. [Nitpick mode] I noticed that Toroniku Ramen were misspelled, though (probably a typo).[/nitpick mode]

Not ironic, just didn't pay attention. Some other person had been doing the reviews for a while and I didn't even look at the name. I would not make a good fact-checker.

"If it's me and your granny on bongos, then it's a Fall gig'' -- Mark E. Smith

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They close at midnight; didn't you pay attention to the earlier part of the thread? :laugh::biggrin:

Your co-workers like Aji-Sen, perhaps?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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  • 2 months later...

Tried Minca last night with a Japanese friend. The radish salad was well, a radish salad. Fine, but not special. The Gyoza were first class, thin, crispy skin and they did not stick together. As to the soups....noodles were very good and so were the toppings, we had both the stewed and BBQ pork. My friend could not believe that the noodles seemed to be dried ones, imported from Japan. They were better than the fresh ones we've had at other places in NYC.

The downside was the soup, both the regular and the lite. They were OK for me, but didn't make my eyes open or anything. My friend thought they were OK, and better than average for NYC, but not first class. Part of the problem for her is that the broth style they use is very thick, Kyushu style. It's not her favorite, and some of her friends don't like it either. She's a Tokyo native, and wants to try the soy sauce flavored both next time. So, overall, it was good, but not earth shattering.

Service was nice and pleasant, place seems professionally run, they serve beer and sake now, and the music was nice. Not an upscale place, but it's not a dive.

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Todd, thanks for the report. Which ramen soups did you have (please consult their menu at menupages.com if you don't remember their names)? And how was the wait to get in, when you showed up (around what time)?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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No wait at around 9:00, and there was space available for the next hour or so, until we left.

Their entry on menupages does not reflect their current menu.

One soup was their basic broth, with slow cooked pork and cabbage on top. Forgot what they called it, it's the first special on their current menu. The second soup was their light flavored broth, with extra roast pork added on top. Easy to customize when you speak Japanese, although I think you could do the same in English. To tell you the truth, the two broths were fairly similar in flavor and appearance. The main difference seemed to be that the light one has less fat. My friend preferred the light one. She says she prefers Tokyo style, no doubt because she was born, raised and educated in Tokyo, Waseda class of '93 as she points out. We used to like Little Yokohama, but it is long gone. They had good noodles.

Oh, and their optional hot sauce really is hot.

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  • 6 months later...

they've added a vegetable ramen option now for those who are lugging vegetarian friends along. I had the charshu one and it's pretty filling, surprised at how full I got. Gyozas are very fresh, they do a great job w/ those.

I would highly recommend minca, although sporadically as it is quite heavy compared to other ramen.

8738993_e526362349_o.jpg

Edited by aser (log)

"The world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those who feel." - Horace Walpole

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  • 6 months later...
  • 8 months later...
Had lunch there yesterday.  A mistake.  Even their light broth is very heavy and oilly.  My Japanese friends will not eat there.

well that is probably just personal preference. The northern style of ramen from Kyushu will have a thick and oily broth. Whereas people from Tokyo prefer a lighter shoyu broth. You can't lump the Japanese as one entire group, account for regional styles. I know plenty of people that prefer a thicker/oily broth.

Different strokes for different folks....

Edited by aser (log)

"The world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those who feel." - Horace Walpole

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Had lunch there yesterday.  A mistake.  Even their light broth is very heavy and oilly.  My Japanese friends will not eat there.

well that is probably just personal preference. The northern style of ramen from Kyushu will have a thick and oily broth. Whereas people from Tokyo prefer a lighter shoyu broth. You can't lump the Japanese as one entire group, account for regional styles. I know plenty of people that prefer a thicker/oily broth.

Different strokes for different folks....

It actually made me sick and for what its worth, my Japanese friends thinks its just plain bad, having little to do with regional variation.

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Had lunch there yesterday.  A mistake.  Even their light broth is very heavy and oilly.  My Japanese friends will not eat there.

well that is probably just personal preference. The northern style of ramen from Kyushu will have a thick and oily broth. Whereas people from Tokyo prefer a lighter shoyu broth. You can't lump the Japanese as one entire group, account for regional styles. I know plenty of people that prefer a thicker/oily broth.

Different strokes for different folks....

I love Tonkotsu-ramen. I don't like a thin broth. I think I'm gonna have to grin and bear it and go to Minca once and for all and settle this!

I think I said this earlier in thread but the concensus among others was that their ramen looked a lot better than it tasted. While I appreciate how Japanese excel at food presentation, I only care about the taste.

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I love Tonkotsu-ramen. I don't like a thin broth. I think I'm gonna have to grin and bear it and go to Minca once and for all and settle this!

a japanese friend was telling me the other night that the reason she loves minca is because of the thick shoyu broth. i'd love to try this evening, but with this weather, i've got to get my hands on some cold noodles.

also, has anyone checked out this ramen-rating website, oyahiLife.com? interesting commentary on the city's noodle shops.

can't believe it's not butter? i can.

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