Mei Jin: Upper East Side, Manhattan, NYC, NY, USA
This was recommended by an attending in my department whose wife had spent some time up here in this neighborhood reportedly “knows her eats”. Some of us fellows decided to come here and try out the ramen. At first we chose to come here since it was only a “few blocks up” but really it is a good 15 block haul. Hmmm. That being said, it was in a really nicely decorated restaurant. Slightly modern but definitely more poshy than the other ramen bars I’ve been in, I was still excited to try it out. The things we ordered included:
- soft shell crab appetizer
- classic Mei Jin ramen
Soft Shell Crab
- whole crab! I love whole crab instead of half pieces
- good flavor, breading wasn’t over seasoned
- not overly breaded: this can take away the flavor of the crab
- nice balance with the pickled vegetables on top
- the breading was a bit soggy. I’m not sure if it had been sitting out too long before it was served, or if they didn’t drain it on a paper towel and let the oil soak through.
Classic Jin Mei Ramen
- fantastic quantity: the bowl was filled almost to the brim with soup
- very generous with the ramen toppings. I really like toppings, it makes more of the flavor of the ramen from just noodle and soup.
- broth. It was just lacking in richness. Compared to Totto or Ippudo, this is just not quite there. There isn’t that thickness of having boiled bones for 5 hours.
I’m not really sure how to put it, but this ramen was just okay. I’ve eaten real ramen multiple times in Japan and then all over in San Francisco as well as Los Angeles. This isn’t amazing ramen. By no means am I a ramen connoisseur, but admittedly, I do have some sense of taste. In summary:
- soft shell crab: ***.65 (3.65 stars)
- classic Mei Jin ramen: ***.5 (3.5 stars)
After finding out that Totto Ramen has an east-side location only a ten block walk makes it harder to come back to this place. If you’re up by the 82nd street area, I’d say this place is good for a pick-me-up. There aren’t any ramen joints near my apartment so Totto would be the closest for me. The good thing about Jin Mei is that you can order it off GrubHub!
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