Closed for renovations.
Slurping is acceptable – even encouraged – at this big, bare-bones ramen joint. You’ll see fellow diners, most of them Japanese or students from NYU or Cooper Union, forgoing conversation for heavy mouth-to-noodle action. But while ramen dominates the menu, it’s actually the least appealing dish here. Noodle broths are oily and flavorless, and accompanying meats are fatty and stringy. Instead, make a meal of delicious appetizers, like crunchy edamame, translucent shumai filled with plump shrimp, or cold eggplant and asparagus in a delicate sesame sauce. You won’t want to linger, anyway; with lighting like an operating theater and décor limited to Japanese beer posters, the room doesn’t exactly exude warmth. Servers, on the other hand, are generous with smiles and patient with newbies who don’t know their chan pon (noodle soup with vegetables and seafood) from their jar-jar men (cold noodles with ground pork). Note: While Menkui Tei’s financial-district outpost was a casualty of 9/11, the original branch is still thriving in Midtown.Recommended Dishes
Shumai, $5.50; horenso garlic, $7; edamame, $3.50