25 St. Marks Pl., New York, NY, 10003
nr. Second Ave.
By hirotsune on 8/25/2004
This is a pretty "authentic" Japanese Izakaya. Many Tapas style appetizers that may seem strange to non-Japanese. However, this place will make any person from Japan feel right at home. The service can be slow when it gets really busy but the food is cheap, as is the Beer ($8 for a pitcher of Kirin). Yeah, it can get loud but... it's a bar. Introduce any Japanese person you know to Kenka and they'll love you for it.
By Akhan on 8/28/2004
What can I say? I've hit this place atleast a half dozen times within three or so weeks. The first thing i'll warn though is this place is PACKED! Call before or be prepared to wait even for a table of two depending what time you come. The place is constantly buzzing with people drowning out the music for the most part. The people who come always seem friendly. On more than one occasion i've found my friends and myself joining another random table and making new friends. The food and drinks here are excellently priced and great. The service can be a bit iffy though as there seem to be too few staff to accomodate all the customers at times. The sake is great for the price (They range from $2.50 - $6.50 a glass) and you can get it in bottles to. The staff despite being a bit shorthanded and still quite friendly and make efforts to get you what you want. Generally I find myself going here for the sake and small meal with friends to hang out have a few laughs and unwind. Overall a good place that I am visiting often.
By elboreview on 3/15/2005
Walking into Kenka reminded me of my time in Japan. Reminiscent of the street vendors with their various appetizer sized eats. It is very busy there! The doors open at 6PM and there is already a line waiting to get in. When the doors open, all of the workers greet you as you enter. When you are seated, you will receive some rather overwhelming menus. There are loads of choices with prices ranging from extremely cheap to inexpensive. The choice of vegetarian fare is limited, but tasty. My favorite dish is Niku Jaga. It’s a beef and potato stew with vermicelli, carrots and onions. Extremely tasty! The service is a bit slow, but they are always friendly! The décor includes advertisements of Ken Takakura enjoying his favorite bowl of ramen and some topless dancing kabuki looking girls advertising something. The most unique experience will be using the restroom. If you cannot read the Japanese characters on the door, just look at the drawings above the door knobs and match yourself to the proper body part. =) And of course, don’t forget the flavored sugar you get with your bill…that leads into the entertainment of the night of making your own cotton candy!
By pploo on 3/25/2005
Authentic decoration. Awsome atmostphere. Surprising dishes. Wacky waiter/waitress. This place is FUN, from walking in feels like a crowd market, sitting on those ridiculous wood table/chair, smoking in the back yard, with those loud japanese music backgound. Everything in here shout the metropolitan of Tokyo. Feels like you walk into the AKIRA setting. And top of that with that cotton candy.,,, chic dig that. p
By breakfast700 on 4/12/2005
I happened to reside at a studio right next to Kenka and often stopped by to have a snack. The place opened in the spring of 2004 and has been a smashing hit ever since. The restraunt's business hours start around six in the evening, and the crowd pours in immediately after until the closing time. What accounts for this popularity? Cheap and delicious food, jovial atmosphere, and the premium location in the middle of St.Marks help. I sort of became addicted to one of the ramens Kenka served; now that I don't live at St.Marks Place, I miss it all the more.
By Ricarri on 11/4/2006
I dunno about you guys but i been eating at Kenka's for over a year and the food is great. I order the meals which comes with rice and salad and i have never gotten sick. I reccomend it. It's great Trust me! As a matter of fact im going back tonight.
By nagoya0 on 1/26/2007
I been going to Kenka ever since it opened, I always take anyone I can too. Its the best Japanese food you will get. The feel to the place is like old fashion, the seats though could be better. The service is best as they can be when its busy. The prices are excellent for the portions you get. Overall its definatly worth while to eat here and come again if your from the area. Bring everyone you know they cator to everyone tastes!
By MaxG on 11/5/2008
This place has the best Japanese vibe ever. The pachinko machines were a nice touch. The food is great, the prices are fair, service gets iffy when the place is busy, but otherwise, it's awesome. The crowd's pretty young, the beer is cheap and I'd recommend ordering the "takoyaki". I can't find it anywhere else! So good!
By vmolina25 on 8/18/2010
I went to Kenka last night with a group of friends since we all love Japanese food. We were greeted warmly and it was very crowded which seemed great. However, as soon as we ordered our food we spotted a HUGE mother cockroach crawling up our table. The general hygiene and cleanliness of the restaurant is horrific. I was so grossed out we walked out and me and my friends got Japanese food elsewhere. Save yourself the trouble and the illnesses!