It’s Just About Time For Some Cold Ramen (and Men Kui Tei’s Version is Worth a Try)

Men Kui TeiMy friend just recently discovered the wonderfulness of ramen in the form of  spicy chicken ramen at Cafe Duke (on 51st btw. 6+7th). As any good friend would do, I immediately decided to introduce her to some of the ramen shops near her work so that she wouldn’t be stuck with Cafe Duke. The first place I took her to was Men Kui Tei (56th btw. 5+6th). I’m a fan of the one in the East Village and thought it would be a great place to start. While going through the menu trying to figure out what to order I noticed they serve hiyashi (aka cold) ramen. So far the only place in Midtown I’ve had hiyashi ramen is at Sapporo, and there it’s a treat only served in the summertime.  But Men Kui Tei serves it year round!  And seeing as how it is one of my favorite foods I had to try their version.

Hiyashi ramen

The hiyashi from Men Kui Tei ($8.50) was topped with roast pork, bean sprouts, shredded egg, cucumber, picked ginger and a piece of fake crab stick with a spoonful of mustard on the side. The toppings were excellent, especially the amount of pickled ginger they put on top (I can never get enough of that stuff.)  The ramen was a little chewy and when I got to the bottom (where the ramen had been soaking in the broth for about 30mins) it was quite salty. Overall it was still tasty and I understood the saltiness at the bottom was partially my fault for getting it to go. Maybe next time I’ll ask them if they can put the broth in a separate container or dine-in.

Besides Men Kui Tei and Sapporo, has anybody seen cold ramen anywhere else?

Men Kui Tei, 60 W. 56th St. (btw. 5 & 6th), 212-757-1642

5 Comments

  • For cold noodles at Men Kui, Jar Jar Men is the winner

  • Menchankotei has tsukumen, but I’ve never actually ordered it.

  • Yesterday I was craving Hiyashi-chuka and thought I would try the new Terakawa Ramen in the former Teriyaki Boy space on 9th Avenue. My favorite previously was Sapporo, and definitely still is.

    You cannot get the hiyashi at Terakawa to go, only to sit at their few tables in the restaurant. Okay, I’ll eat there, fine. It was also $12. Quite a large portion, came topped with some halved grape tomatoes, soggy slices of bamboo shoots, a medium boiled half egg, a couple of slices of chicken breast, some fishcake slices, a bunch of lettuce on top of the noodles. It wasn’t bad, but the noodles were really rubbery. A real turn off. You could barely bite through them.

  • Jeez, guys, your memories are short. Year after year, ML features both forum posts and features about hiyashi-chuka when the warm weather comes. Both Sapporo and Men Kui Tei have it, although its availability is subject to the weather: look for it on hot days.

    For your Midtown Lunch/Downtown readers, look for it (also according to the vagaries of the weather) at Niko Niko (80 Wall St.).

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    So I went to try the Hiyashi Ramen here after reading this review & I’m sad to say I had a less than ideal experience…

    I was in a rush so I didn’t realize the following until I got back to my office:

    - Instead of delicious roast pork they had replaced it with ham…. just like the kind you’ll find in a deli sandwich, & really not much of it
    -The broth started out strangely sweet & ended pretty salty
    - After double checking the price when I got back, I’m sure they overcharged me. I paid over $10 for $8.50 ramen… I’m not sure if there is a minimum for pickup, but they definitely didn’t mention it over the phone. Either way I paid more than I should have.

    On a positive note, the noodles were pleasantly chewy & I loved all the pickled ginger & hot mustard.

    But, overpaying to eat deli ham is not my idea of a good lunch deal so I don’t plan on ever coming back here.

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