Jun-Men Ramen Bar – Chelsea, NYC
Rating: 1 (not edible) to 5 (food heaven!): A Solid 3
I would give it an extra star… for the appetizers… cuz they were much more savory than the main reason you’re there (umm… ramen… in case you didn’t realize). Been here twice, close to work and if you get there before the lunch crowd, guarantee a seat. Very small location, simple decor, solo dining – at the bar area – great option.
1st visit – Pork belly buns with pickle, not a good combo – pork belly were WAAAY too fatty! The beige coloring didn’t help the thick chunk of pure fat glaring at me. I prefer the traditional pork belly bun – either torched (like TOTTO) or braised to perfection (like Ippudo). The pickle added no value whatsoever. I took mine out.
Kimchi Ramen – this was good, mildly spicy (that’s generous… it has no heat whatsoever), with braised pork shoulder meat pieces and minced -Kim Chi (which I did not like… I rather have big chunks of kimchi, added texture to the ramen). The broth was good – nothing exceptional.
2nd visit – Chicken buns (a little over-fried but good when you’re craving a higher quality McChicken…), Sweet Potato Fries – these were awesome, it was slightly glazed with maple sugar syrup and served mighty hot with some Japanese sweet mayo.
Wanted to try the uni mazemen, but they were out of uni… yes.. they were out of uni… their most frequently ordered dry ramen… at 11:40am.. they were out of uni. It is the reason why I’m here so early… Seriously?!?! Let’s just call it poor ‘logistics ordering’ or planning… so I opted for the Spicy Miso… it was bland.. not spicy at all… no miso taste.. the pork belly were not edible.. again, mighty THICK chunk of PURE FAT floating on top of my ramen… I ate around it.
Overall, a decent ramen joint… I would not wait in line for this… but would eat a quick meal here during the colder weather. Otherwise, I would rather track up to midtown-west for Ippudo!