Rockmeisha

(Editor’s note: This post was co-written by Aya and Tmonkey. All opinions and typos are theirs.)

Aya: I am always hungry. But Tmonkey, you are always always hungry. What’s up with your metabolism?

Tmonkey: I burn a lot of chi doing kung-fu. Also my massive brain controlled by alien maggots requires about 3 times more energy than a regular human brain.

Aya: That’s cool. And where does your profound desire for ramen come from?

Tmonkey: I don’t know, I think it’s a primal instinct.

Aya: Yeah. I yearn for it in a way that’s like it’s part of my DNA.

Tmonkey: Though I think the movie Tampopo helped to shape my latent cravings for ramen–

Aya: Great movie! OK so Tmonkey and I went to Rockmeisha last night.

Tmonkey: Kayoko told me about this place. I tried to go for lunch twice this week, but they’re not open until 6pm.

Aya: It took you two times to figure that out?

Tmonkey: Chut up. Anyway, I was happy to try it out. It’s a cute little cozy place, and, incidentally, right next door to the magnificent Annisa restaurant run by Anita Lo. She trounced Mario Batali in Iron Chef America. I’ll take you there sometime.

Aya: You better.

Tmonkey: OK OK. Rockmeisha is really tiny. The kitchen looked like a kitchen in someone’s house. Stuff all over the place. Plus the whole joint smelled like grease. They fry lots of things. What’s an izakaya? We sat at the bar because I like to drink. A lot. I had 2 Sapporo drafts.

Aya: I had the lychee sake. Yummy.

Tmonkey: We started off with the Tuna and avocado salad.

It was delicious – nice ponzu dressing and lots of thinly sliced onion on top.

Aya: The deep-fried mackerel was even better.

Nice fish. But we should have ordered the porkbelly special.

Tmonkey: Now for the main course. I order the Chashumen, and Aya got the Tonkotsu Ramen. Can you tell the difference?

Aya: Um. No. Wait. Which one was mine?

Tmonkey: The second one. Look closely. Mine has 3 extra slice of pork (spoken in bad Chinese accent).

Aya: Oh right. Those 3 slices of pork cost you an extra $5!

Tmonkey: It was worth it! The noodles had very nice texture and resilience. I read they are imported from Hakata – where is that?

Aya: Uh Hokkaido? No wait, oops, it’s way down south actually, in Fukuoka in Kyushu. I don’t know shit about Japanese geography it’s embarrassing. It says here that tonkotsu (pork-bone base) ramen broth originated there, as did the convention of serving the pickled shoga (ginger) with the noodles.

Tmonkey: Yeah that was weird. I don’t know if I liked that. The broth was nice and thick. But you know, it lacked the most important flavor of all – UMAMI!

Aya: Explain.

Tmonkey: You don’t know what umami is??? What’s the name of this blog? Umami is the “fifth taste” — sour, salty, sweet, bitter, and….umami! It was “discovered” by a japanese scientist, Kikune Ikeda, at the Tokyo Imperial University when he was trying to isolate the flavor of seaweed broth. It’s the taste of mushrooms, parmesan cheese, tomatoes, that “earthy” flavor. It rounds out the flavor profile by hitting a certain region of your tongue. My favorite food writer/critic, Jeffrey Steingarten, wrote a defense of MSG, called “If MSG is bad for you, why doesn’t everyone in Asia have a headache”? Or something like that. Oh just go read this article. MSG! MSG! MSG!

Aya: We’re in agreement there. So overall, I’d say Rockmeisha, meh, it’s OK – kinda pricey for an izakaya, I guess you have to pay for the location.

Tmonkey: We have yet to find the best ramen in NYC.

Aya: OK, but how do you explain this?

Tmonkey: Hey. I was hungry!

Rockmeisha
11 Barrow Street
between West 4th Street and 7th Avenue
(212) 675-7775

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5 Responses to “Rockmeisha”

  1. kayoko Says:

    LOVE THIS. you guys are so so so hilarious- this is seriously funny- i love how sharing food experiences really brings people together (aya rolls her eyes HERE). please keep doing this! i like the idea of getting different perspectives for the same meal- everyone has different standards and tastes, you know?

    on Rockmeisha ramen- eh– i’ll put it somewhere between Rai Rai Ken and Momofuku. makes me so sad thinking about how NY can’t seem to lure in a single good ramen joint. this is NEW YORK!!! PATHETIC!

    as a restaurant though, Rockmeisha is too expensive. small appetizers are $7+ and they charged us for hot tea at the end. BOGUS.

    TMonkey, thanks for your short yet succinct definition of UMAMI. represent!

    although we are gonna have to brawl it out on Steingarten as a food critic.

    xx
    k

  2. r a m e n i a c Says:

    was ‘kaedama’ available as an option? that bowl of ramen looks pretty small, but with this style you can usually order extra noodles for $1.

    menchanko-tei has a hakata tonkotsu ramen as well doesn’t it? any idea how the two compare?

  3. r a m e n i a c Says:

    was ‘kaedama’ available as an option? that bowl of ramen looks pretty small, but with this style you can usually order extra noodles for $1.

    menchanko-tei has a hakata tonkotsu ramen as well doesn’t it? any idea how the two compare?

  4. kayoko Says:

    hello rameniac! i’ve seen recently that you’ve been eating at some bay area spots- i’m from cupertino and was excited to see your Santa post– it’s probably the best ramen in the area, in my very humble opinion.

    funny you should mention Menchanko Tei. i think that it serves some of the lesser appetizing bowls of ramen in the city, but i actually had a decent bowl of “wafu” (fish broth) ramen the other day on my way home from work.

    Chikubu recently closed, which means no special ramen lunch on fridays. even though it wasn’t that great, it’s still one less place to go for ramen.

    i would actually say that Menchanko Tei’s tonkotsu is better, although i’m not a fan of hakata style ramen myself. but it’s hard to escape in new york, as that style seems to be quite popular. i don’t get it. i need my noodles to be more curly and bouncy (in japanese – ‘hagotai’, or al dente, i guess).

    what exactly is ‘kaedama’ style ramen?

    Santouka, LA and Santa, San Mateo– PLEASE COME TO NEW YORK!!!

  5. kayoko Says:

    hello rameniac! i’ve seen recently that you’ve been eating at some bay area spots- i’m from cupertino and was excited to see your Santa post– it’s probably the best ramen in the area, in my very humble opinion.

    funny you should mention Menchanko Tei. i think that it serves some of the lesser appetizing bowls of ramen in the city, but i actually had a decent bowl of “wafu” (fish broth) ramen the other day on my way home from work.

    Chikubu recently closed, which means no special ramen lunch on fridays. even though it wasn’t that great, it’s still one less place to go for ramen.

    i would actually say that Menchanko Tei’s tonkotsu is better, although i’m not a fan of hakata style ramen myself. but it’s hard to escape in new york, as that style seems to be quite popular. i don’t get it. i need my noodles to be more curly and bouncy (in japanese – ‘hagotai’, or al dente, i guess).

    what exactly is ‘kaedama’ style ramen?

    Santouka, LA and Santa, San Mateo– PLEASE COME TO NEW YORK!!!

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