01 February 2010

Cheap Slurps

It's been what I like to call, Chicago Cold, in NYC the last few days. That kinda cold where the wind hits your face and gives you a Slurpee Brain Freeze so painful you wonder what the hell you're doing outside. Days like these were made for Men Kui Tei, a Ramen shop at 60 W 56th St.

I was introduced to Ramen in the Army and later in college made my own in a Mr Coffee machine. But that was nothing compared to what Men Kui Tei has to offer. Starting at $7.50 and max'ed out at $10, you get heaping bowls of al dente ramen, loads of broth and usually some sliced pork cut fat and juicy. A side of kimchi for $2.50 and an Ashai beer ($6), I am in affordable heaven. No small task in midtown.

The NY Times had a wonderful piece in the travel section on ramen shops in Tokyo. I always wondered why there were so many Japanese business men in Men Kui Tei. The Time's article explains ramen is an obsession in Japan. Kinda like traditional Ivy league clothing. Gotta love that. The article also mentions a number of Ramen Blogs of which, this one in English, stands out for its photography and dense detail. Another example of how blogs increase our learning curve in just about anything.

My place is tiny and when they turn the heat on - look out. It can get very warm. I suggest you sit in the front where, with the door opening a lot, you average out a comfortable temp. Small price to pay for a warm, steamy and oddly sensual experience. Maybe it's all that slurping?


Brummagem Joe said...

tintin: I've never tried this although I've seen these places around over the years.....I'll give it a whirl sometime

Anonymous said...

Those Mr. Coffee ramen noodles sure hit the spot at midnight back on Lobby East and the Tower room!ME

Anonymous said...

Genius. Ramen + Mr. Coffee?? I've been wasting my money on the (relatively) expensive kind that comes in styrofoam cups. No more. thanks for helping me save a few bucks for grad school tintin.

Brummagem Joe said...

...totally off topic but Sart has a couple of pics up of Luciano Barbera that demonstrate how it should be done.....check out the pic of tweed jacket, flannel bags, blue shirt and wool tie, and highly polished monks.....and it works whether you're 25 or 65!....hell maybe Luciano like Ramen too!


The Sluice Box said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Sluice Box said...

That reminds me a bit of the hole-in-the-wall Mexican and Thai places I see on the west coast. I enjoyed your posting.

(reposted to correct a spelling error I could not live with)



Steam heat's a bitch.

Last time I had good ramen was in NYC. Can't remember the name of the place. The bowl was pure creature feature: Pork hock, tongue, chunks of coagulated blood.

Don't know about the "sensual" experience, though, Tin. Reminds me of one of Otter's finer moments with Ms. Wormer.

TRVS said...

We're .17 per pack "Maruchan" fans around here, just boil H20, add ramen & a few slices of leek and it's noodle heaven in two minutes . . . our favorite "Chicago Cold" day treat (yes, it's freezing here in MA, too.)

Chris said...

My golf foxtrot and I were here just a few weeks ago. Great place and perfect winter warmer food.

tintin said...

Joe- Go!

ME- I'm trying to remember what else I cooked in the Mr Coffee. I do remember making tea in it and calling it a Mr Tea, Mr Ramen, Mr Oatmeal, Mr Chicken Noodle Soup, Mr...

Anon- Not genius. Just poor and nothing focuses you better than no money.

Joe- Saw it. They're great. But why is everybody and their brother calling 'em peccary gloves? I always thought they were boar skin gloves. Is this just an affectation?

"I ask whilst pulling on a jumper and sallying through my entryway in hopes my lounge suit and odd jacket promised a fortnight ago will finally be ready at the tailors on High Street"

Or, dear God, Am I wrong?

Sluice Box- Don't sweat the spelling here. By the way, your photography just gets better and better.

Stew- You notice Otter's holding a green cucumber and wearing a pink sweater as his grammer is being corrected? Pink and Green. Accident or not? I wonder. I always had a thing for Mrs Wormer.

TRVS- This stuff is far removed from the dry stuff. Course it's not .17 either. I wish the Golf Foxtrot was the right size for that Peck and Peck you have on your site. It's a beauty.

Chris- Isn't it great? Just make sure they don't ever put you in that sauna in the back.

Brummagem Joe said...

tintin:"I always thought they were boar skin gloves."

Ditto..... they look like pigskin to me....no idea what peccary is.....and yes I'm definitely going to do the Ramen....you sold me

TRVS said...

We can't get take~out delivered after 8:00 around here, never mind an authentic Ramen shop . . . thus, we settle!

Yes, that Peck & Peck suit is amazing ~ I don't mind if it doesn't go, a few alterations and I'll manage to squeeze it into my closet!

Always a compliment to have gentleman visitors to "The Shoe".

Chris said...

Last time I had good ramen was in NYC. Can't remember the name of the place. The bowl was pure creature feature: Pork hock, tongue, chunks of coagulated blood. "

That's not Ramen. You're describing Bun Bo Hue (Vietnamese Hue Soup). Did it have a red lemongrass broth? It looks like someone with a bleeding ulcer got sick but it's delicious.