These Restaurants Are Making Me Hot: Winter Edition
Soup, there it is! Yes, it’s soup season, which means soup dumplings, ramen, pho, soup and anything steaming or near a fireplace. Therefore, as temperatures drop– we counteract by picking up spoons and chopsticks to help warm our bellies. Here’s some of my choices for ramen and pho to start the winter season:
MEW MEN, a new ramen restaurant in the West Village on 7 Cornelia Street. The 39-seat restaurant is an offshoot of the Hand Hospitality Group (Izakaya Mew, Her Name is Han and Atoboy), and offers five delicious different types of ramen using authentic techniques and fresh ingredients. The menu offers small plates and five ramen soups to make things easy– items we tasted were:
The Shoyu Chintan -the signature ramen at the restaurant and one of the brothy options. We were very impressed by the bold flavor of the broth, which was cooked for over 6 hours to create a soy sauce and chicken soup flavoring. The topping with pork chashu, chicken chashu, scallion and marinated snow pea was an extra bonus for a satisfying bowl.
If you prefer a thicker, creamier and saltier broth, you can opt for the Shio Paitan prepared with smashed bone marrow. The spicy of the four is the Kara Shoyu, which is similar to the item we enjoyed but with added jalapeño and sautéed minced pork, which we’ll have to go back and taste.
The other we enjoyed was the Maze Men, which is my favorite style! Although in the winter you crave warm, soupy dishes, the Maze Men at the restaurant should not be overlooked! With more emphasis on the flavor of the noodle, the one at MEW MEN is tossed in truffle oil to give it a creamy and thick texture, not to mention it was packed with tomatoes, chicken and other greens. Mix it all together and you’re all set.
Other small dishes we loved was the fried chicken or Kara Age with the homemade onion sauce, Hiroshi Buns with a thin piece of pork hugged by a sticky bun and Iburigakoo Cheese, which was unique and served on a pickled and smoke radish with cream cheese.
Honestly, there’s not many Vietnamese restaurants in New York strangely enough. In the melting pot city where you can go to designated areas like Flushing, Queens for some of the most authentic Chinese food around- we’re lacking in the Vietnam category. To get the broth-centric, clear soup in New York, picks are:
Bun-Ker Vietnamese, (46-63 Metropolitan Ave, Maspeth, NY) serving up traditional vibrant and healthy Vietnamese food and some super ridiculous pho ga- infused with cardamon, coriander, Vietnamese cinnamon, star anise, goji berries and jujubes, then simmered for 9 hours. Poof! You’ll have to wait a while to enjoy though since they’re moving locations, in the meantime try..
Phở Grand (277 Grand St) for some really authentic noodles pho real! Topped with thin slices of brisket, pork and garnished with all the traditional trappings and herbs.
Last, but not least– Vietnaam or I like to say– VietNOM in the Upper East Side (1700 2nd Ave b/t 88th St & 89th St), an under-the-radar neighborhood joint serving up a vast menu packed with everything from multiple Phở options to a menu packed with dumplings, rice combinations and a super memorable Bánh mì with a couple different flavor combinations. Yes and yes. Some soup-er warm options for the colder climates!