minca June 6, 2009Posted by AnnaTheRed in Everything else.
Tags: kambi, minca, ramen, review, tonkotsu
I’ve been working on something for my friend’s birthday, so no bento blog this weekend. But instead, I’ll do a regular food blog.
I don’t eat out or order take-out that often. My boyfriend and I both like cooking, and we can also save money by cooking dinner and taking bento to work. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t like eating out. We try a different restaurant once in a while, and see if we’re missing anything.
We feel like eating something we know how to cook in a restaurant is kind of a waste. So whenever we go out, we’ll eat food that’s not so easy to prepare at home, such as tonkotsu ramen at Minca. I’ve been going there since they opened several years ago. My boyfriend and I go there every other week. The waitresses are very nice, and of course, they already know what we get.
The tonkotsu soup in ramen at Minca is so THICK that when the soup cools down, the fat in the soup starts to solidify. Sounds disgusting? To some people, maybe, but to me, it’s the proof that’s filled with hearty goodness and flavorful piggy fat. It’s definitely not for those who like light ramen. I notice a lot of negative reviews about this place were by people who really didn’t know what to expect from tonkotsu ramen. I’ve only had their basic tonkotsu (I salivate just writing the name), tsuke-men (so-so), and minca ramen (felt a bit overwhelmed with different stuff in the bowl) there, and I realized that if you’re going to a tonkotsu ramen place, just eat tonkotsu ramen. Period.
They boil pork bones in a big pot for at least 12 hours to get the juicy fatty soup, so they really can’t (and they shouldn’t) bother making other kinds of ramen.
The only thing I wasn’t too crazy about was their noodles. Their regular noodles are too thick and wavy for tonkotsu soup. But then one day, I realized they had added “thin noodles” to the menu! This made me so happy. It’s definitely much better than their regular noodles. My Japanese friends, who aren’t from Kyuushuu told me that they’d prefer the thicker and wavy noodle, so it’s all just preferences I guess. But I bet they added the thin noodles because they got suggestions from the people like me. 😛
My boyfriend did a review for Minca before, so you can read a better review for this place HERE, but just one thing… Their charshu (simmered pork belly) will MELT in your mouth. I’m not exaggerating. I think their charshu is better than the charshu in average ramen places in my hometown.
Anyway, Minca is located in 5th street between Avenue A and Avenue B in NYC. The place is still usually packed around on Friday night, and if we get there late, we’d usually have to wait for 15-20 minutes. (which is well worth it)
There is another tonkotsu ramen place owned by the same owner as Minca, called Kambi. It’s located on 14th street between 1st avenue and 2nd avenue in NYC, and it’s more convenient and roomier than Minca. We still prefer Minca, though. 😛 Read my boyfriend’s review on Kambi HERE and find out why!