The Park Slope Gastronome

Back in Park Slope.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Minca Ramen Factory

Around the holidays, we ate at the Minca Ramen Factory, a tiny ramen restaurant in the East Village (536 E. 5th St b/w A & B). It's cozy, but definitely not as cramped as Rai Rai Ken. At Minca, you can choose to site at the half dozen or so tables, or at one of the seats at the bar, where you have can observe the ramen production firsthand.

The Minca mise en place.

Pork gyoza. These were served piping hot and with a lovely layer of crispy on one side. DMR burned his tongue, I think. I for the life of me cannot replicate this at home. My gyoza always winds up sticking to the pan. Am I just not using enough oil?

We both opted for the house Minca ramen, which centers around an earthy broth made with pork, chicken and dried seafood. The noodles are imported dried from Japan and were more toothsome than I've been accustomed to. Topping the noodles were handfuls of marinated bamboo and black mushrooms (I picked all of these out, I hate these mushrooms despite being a mushroom lover), half a soy-sauce marinated hard boiled egg, a couple thin slices of tender pork and a sprinkling of scallions. A square of seawood is placed upright in the bowl as well. Next time, I'll probably order a different soup base and ask them to hold the mushrooms.

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Blogger China-Latina Chowhound said...

Those gyoza look divine. How does the house Minca ramen rate against the house Momofuku ramen? I had the duck leg ramen at the latter last week and I found it too be WAY too filling. Delicious, but deadly.

January 10, 2007 12:51 PM  
Blogger China-Latina Chowhound said...

I meant to say 'to be WAY too filling', not 'too be way too filling'.

January 10, 2007 12:52 PM  
Blogger ez said...

I grabbed a seat at the bar for my recent visit to Minca. The physical space is nice, i like comfortable places.

Those pan fried gyoza were pretty tasty. I also had the minca ramen, which I liked, though I would probably also try another base the next time.

CLC, I think I probably prefer the food at Momofuku, those pork buns are hard to beat. Minca is more relaxed, which is nice.

January 10, 2007 1:11 PM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

momofuku and minca/rai rai ken/menkui tei are incomparable. they serve completely different products. but between minca and rai rai, i'd go with minca's pork, but rai rai for everything else.

January 10, 2007 1:20 PM  
Blogger youthlarge said...

those pork buns are VERY hard to beat. i love momofuku, but $14 is a lot for a bowl of ramen.

January 10, 2007 1:22 PM  
Blogger China-Latina Chowhound said...

The buns at Momofuku are like little sleeping bags from Heaven. I always get the idea in my head that I will try just ordering an assortment of buns, but then I end up relenting and ordering a ginormous noodle bowl, which leaves me feeling uncomfortably full 100% of the time.

January 10, 2007 1:37 PM  
Blogger ez said...

$14 is an insult. And you're absolutely right, Momofuku is a different animal entirely.

January 11, 2007 3:05 AM  

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