I’m sure you’ve all heard of Little Italy, China Town, Little Korea, The Arab Quarter……well, I have discovered Mini Japan. Taking a teeny tiny residence on 25th and 9th Jun-Men is a hidden gem. Irasshaimase!!!! (That’s welcome in Japanese…..just in case you hadn’t walked into enough sushi restaurants in your lifetime).
On departing New York I turned to Georges and listed four things I would miss:
1. Our incredible friends.
2. The uncertain adventures of every new day.
3. Walking through Time Square at midnight.
Doesn’t quite seem to hold up against the previous three listings but let me put it to you like this. In our last week and a half in New York we ate here four times. That’s almost once every other day. Surely this should demonstrate our obsession quite clearly.
Because of this it meant we made pretty good headway on the menu and when I say pretty good, I mean we tried all but two dishes. We quite literally started from the top and worked our way down, with each dish being as good, if not better, than the last. So instead of reviewing the entire menu (which I could quite easily do) I will give you my stand out dishes.
If every meal started with a karaage chicken bun then this world would be a better place. Crispy fried chicken enveloped between the softest, fluffiest buns and a generous helping of jalepeno mayo. The combination of textures were perfectly balanced with the cool, creamy mayo evening out the hot, spicy flavours of the chicken.
Now I am a big fan of ceviche and this one seriously knocked it out of the park. The yellow tail ceviche was incredibly fresh and cut to the size of a perfect mouthful. It came served with kimchi jus, pickled mango and fried dumpling skin. Anything fried is a winner in my books.
OK, time to introduce you to the missing puzzle piece in every persons life. Something so good it makes the Munchkins look like the work of the devil. Announcing the mother of all sweet potato fries and of course with a side of maple bourbon butter and umami mayo. Dipping these crispy, golden sticks into this sticky, gooey goodness was a fine line between main course and dessert. That’s not a downfall by the way, that’s called genius.
Not for the faint hearted, the uni mushroom ramen with sea urchin is seriously rich and filling. The sauce is rather heavy but the flavours are incredibly satisfying. I loved the unique addition of sea urchin, which was super soft and delicate (not at all what I was expecting). This dish is a definite must.
“Can I get a R-AMEN?……..R-amen.”
Last but by absolutely no means least we couldn’t visit a ramen bar and not try the pork bone ramen. Easily the best ramen I have had outside of Japan the broth was clean and bold and the no fuss dish made devouring this generous portion size a breeze.
So to sum up why Jun-Men deserved a minimum of four visits in the space of 10 days, it is quite simply THE best Japanese I have had outside of Japan. The ramen deserves a standing ovation, the service was warm and inviting and the subtle incorporation of American flavours was super clever.
So with only two more dishes left to try I better start planning my next trip NY. This is going to be one expensive bowl of ramen.
What I’m Wearing
Jumper: Marc by Marc Jacobs (old)