Nearby Subway Stops
F at 57th St.; E, M at Fifth Ave.-53rd St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
- Business Lunch
This venue is closed.
If the stacks of newsletters in kanji by the door don't signal authenticity to you, you'll be convinced by the Japanese conversations piping around you: This Japanese noodle house is bona fide. At lunch there's a steady stream of businesspeople; in the evenings, theater- and museum-goers move in. There are few embellishments—just some hanging carvings. People are here not for style but for substance: Most popular is the signature Menchanko soup, with a golden-brown broth, and briny with the flavors of benito and seaweed. Beneath the surface is a nest of ramen noodles deftly cooked to an almost springy consistency—you'll hear slurping sounds as regulars expertly suck them down. Pink head-on shrimp, milky tofu cubes, and crisp, pale-green cabbage add texture and color on top. A puffy triangle of soy milk skin acts like a thin, delicate sponge; put it in your mouth and it gushes with broth. For broth with a stronger flavor, order the sesame or curry variants. If you're craving something you can chew, the rice balls make a good appetizer. Wrapped in dark-green nori seaweed, they crackle as you pick them up and take a bite. The salmon and bonito fillings are both satisfyingly salty, while the mustard greens version has a palate-waking tang.Recommended Dishes
Menchanko, $10; rice balls, $2
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