Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A Ramen Miss

Minca

Minca, a total miss for me.

An "out in the open" cooking area

Two waitresses



Brick walls with random art


Ordered & excited

Homemade pork Gyoza- pan fried pork & veggies
A major no-no on how they can serve very burnt Gyoza to us customers. 

Taste of bland pork & veggies, burnt Gyoza wrappings, & oiliness

The initial factor to Minca being unsatisfactory. 
It doesn't matter if it's just the appetizer. Customers are still paying for it & it is part of their order of what they want to try & eat. Serving burnt food especially shows lack of concern with the restaurant's cooking & preparing. 

Our ramen orders

Mine- Spicy Basic Ramen (in pork broth)




My boyfriend's- Basic Ramen with salt & roasted garlic flavor (in pork broth)
This ramen was definitely the best out of the 2.


His was worth finishing up

My bowl was nowhere close to being all clean like his!








Hmm… seems like the latest restaurant reviews are on noodle soups! I do love my oodles of noodles in hot hot soup :D


Address--- 536 East 5th Street New York, NY 10009

Reservations--- If you see the interior & vibe of Minca yourself then it's pretty obvious that there isn't a system in taking reservations. 

Interior--- Two words for this restaurant… tiny & low-key! But if it's during the summer then 3 words, tiny, low-key, & HOT. A simple & unpolished interior with an inadequate amount of wooden tables, brick walls, an open kitchen with a bar & seats and window seats in the front.

Dress code--- At your most comfortable. The type of outfits that you wouldn't concern about droplets of soup from all the noodle slurping going onto your top & clothes you wouldn't mind having an oily aroma afterwards.

Type of food--- Japanese ramen! Ramen that are different from each other by the type of broth. Broths like pork, chicken, both pork & chicken, and soy bean + pork + chicken. There are the non-spicy, vegetable, salty & garlic-y, spicy, & of course miso ramen categories for your selection.  For instance, there is a ramen called, Minca after the restaurant which is in a pork & chicken broth with added on soy sauce flavor and... a Kimchi miso ramen which has a broth of pork & chicken as the base.   
Supposedly it says in the menu that you can choose the type of noodles you want for your ramen. Either thick / thin / wavy wheat noodles / whole wheat noodles / bean noodles. But I don't remember the waitress asking us which noodles we wanted xP
And if you're not in the ramen mood, there is only 1 rice dish- Charshu Don (pork over rice).
Let's not forget the appetizers-the little satisfactions for our rumblies in our tummies-the previewing sides ;) Like pork or shrimp Gyoza (I wouldn't suggest ordering, skip it, save your $5.25/$6!), bean sprout salad, radish salad, kimchi or tofu.

Service--- I have to say I was a bit surprised to see that Minca needed to have 2 waitresses working because the place itself is so small. But then again with all the hype & popularity (?) this place has, I guess it's understandable & much needed. The time that we went, there were very few customers & it was during the day in between lunch & dinner. The service was more on the slow pace. It helps if you keep the conversation going with whomever you came with or if you're by yourself then any distraction, a book or technology would be key. Don't think while you're checking out the scarce interior decorations the food will be placed in front of you.
Sometimes when there's an open kitchen, we tend to think that our orders will be right out but for this restaurant it was not the case.

Highlights--- The Basic Ramen that my boyfriend ordered. As for another highlight but on a personal note, the fact that we didn't have to wait at all for a seat.

Warnings--- I was pretty disappointed with the ramen I ordered, Spicy Basic Ramen. I expected a savory & with a kick type of spicy ramen but it was neither. Instead, it had that "down flavor" from the 1st bite til' the last bite I could manage. My meaning of "down flavor" is there's no kick when the food is supposed to be spicy, more to the heavier side, & none of that desire to want to eat it again in the future. On top of the "down flavor" the broth was overly thick & OILY. So oily that I couldn't finish it after a few slurps & gulps. We were a tad happier & more relieved that at least the Basic Ramen made up for it but still. 
As for comfortability while you dine, if you despise the heat & tend to quickly sweat and a lot then do not come here during the summer! When we went, they had the front door open & just a central fan on! Talk about sticky hotness.

Suggestions--- If you're iffy in the ramen scene & debating what to order then I say, try their Miso Ramen. All ramen restaurants have miso ramen, it's like the main traditional sort of ramen & a staple on the menu. Of course each & every miso ramen tastes differently from each restaurant but if a restaurant doesn't have a good enough miso ramen then that's questionable. It's like a Korean restaurant that should have good kimchi or an Italian restaurant that has spaghetti & meatballs as 1 of their signature dishes or that you can rely on. You might think that it's boring, ordinary, or plain to order common dishes from any restaurant but the core & basics gotta be done right in order for everything else to be delicious :) that's what I think!
If you want to avoid any waiting or crazy crowding then definitely go in the afternoon after lunchtime or early nighttime. The weekdays should be fine whereas the weekends are doubtful if we're talking about going there for dinner. 

Overall experience--- To come back or to never come back…? No, thank you!
















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58 comments:

  1. That's too bad a restaurant would serve brunt food to customers and expect that to be "ok"?! I also had a so so experience at a Japanese restaurant when my ramen is filled with salt! Omg! I immediately called the waitress and told her. Sometimes people don't even say anything and just won't return so I think it's better for us to say something. If they fix it, at least we may go back right? lol

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    Replies
    1. Us as customers always have a say if something is really unacceptable like extremely salty food!

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  2. very nice thta restaurant! yummy recipes
    I posted a new article, I'd love to know your opinion
    would you like to pass from my blog?
    tr3ndygirl.com
    kiss

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    Replies
    1. The restaurant is nice but the food not :(

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  3. Shame about the food not living up to the hype - the food looks appetizing though. But I agree with you about the burnt gyozas - that's a huge no-no!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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  4. Great honest review! I must try the miso ramen, I've never had.

    Jasmine xx For a Real Woman

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  5. Oh my!!
    look so delicious :D

    WWW.PUTRIVALENTINALIM.BLOGSPOT.COM

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  6. Great place!

    http://blondieanchors.com/

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by & commenting!

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  7. i hate when a place doesn't work out...or when bloggers don't read your post! ^^^ ;)

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    Replies
    1. Agree! But I hate it even more or more like confused on places that have high ratings & u get a bad experience as the result!

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  8. Love your honest and in-depth review. It's disappointing when a place doesn't work out. Is this place new? Maybe they're still working out the kinks. Either way, your boyfriend's dish looks delicious!

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    1. Thanks so much Jillian =) I believe this place has been around for awhile actually! It seems more like ppl are believing/adding onto the "original hype" on this place.

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  9. ah too bad you won't be going back. the ramen looks delicious in the pics but the burnt gyoza is kinda bad. boo!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah it's too bad, at least we tried it for ourselves :)

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  10. Awww, that's always so disappointing when you try a new restaurant and it's not very good! The pictures of your guys' ramen looks delicious though-that's too bad it wasn't as flavorful as you were hoping. I actually tried ramen for the first time ever a few weeks ago!! I loveeee soup and noodles, so I'm not sure why it took me so long to try it. So, if you ever visit Seattle you should go to Aloha Ramen : )

    xox,
    anna-lamode.blogspot.com

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    1. Glad to hear that u final tried ramen noodles & liked it ^^ Ooh ok, will keep in mind of Aloha Ramen in the future! I would like to visit Seattle one day~

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  11. This place looks so cool and the food looks so good- too bad it wasnt as good as it looks like. I love korean and japanese and thai and laos and and and all kind of asian cuisine. I was never really disappointed, except by some really greasy chinese places who think that the food will taste better when everthing is covered in fat ;)

    Lots of love to you!

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    Replies
    1. Ditto, love Asian cuisine! And yes same here, I've had a fair share of some greasy oily food at Chinese restaurants & not feeling so great afterwards!

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  12. Great post!! That plate looks SO GOOD!!

    Diana
    www.ManhattanImageandStyle.com
    New Blog Post: How To Achieve All Your New Year’s Resolutions

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  13. Love the cook on view! A delicious dinner!

    Ciao beautiful friends!

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  14. ah I adore ramen! You're making me drool :)

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    Replies
    1. Ramen is really the best esp on a cold day but not from here :P

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  15. Wow, I only wish I lived in NYC so I could have a chance to check out the places you review! I love ramen, but HATE when I get a bad bowl of it... And trust me, I've had a few. Luckily, there are at least two fabulous places to grab top-quality ramen in Vancouver (a lot more high-end sushi restaurants than ramen) so I won't complain too much. I can't believe they burnt the gyoza! Speaking of bad restaurant experiences, I went on a double date the other weekend and we chose a hotpot place because Urban Spoon said 86% of the customers loved it (you know this story already I think). The place was tiny, sooo ghetto (such horrible decor and bleak fluorescent lighting), located in the middle of nowhere, and our only waitress was this 11-12 year girl!! It was so awkward because we didn't want to complain too much about our food to her since we felt bad that she was so young. Also, my boyfriend's tom yum soup tasted nothing like tom yum; it was embarrassing. Nevertheless, I don't let bad experiences ruin my enthusiasm for trying new places-- how else will you ever discover your next favourite eating post?!

    xx Debbie

    www.whatdoffydoes.com

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    1. Oy that's another restaurant that is baffling with those "great reviews"! I get sometimes speechless when I decide to go to a place that is so raved abt & it turns out the complete opposite! Don't know if they have employees reviewing for them or something, who knows!
      And I agree, don't let an awful dining experience ruin ur whole mood. For my bf & I, we tend to say afterwards, "At least we tried it & know for ourselves not to go back".

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  16. How strange that they serve burned food... :s

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  17. So sorry that the meal didn´t convince you to come again. At least on the pictures the food looks really yummy!

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

    www.dressedwithsoul.blogspot.de

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha actually looking back on the pics, they do look yummy!

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  18. Too bad that you didn't enjoy your meal.
    The place looks nice though.
    x
    Stella from a A Shiny Place

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  19. those ramen <3

    sarahrizaga.blogspot.com

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  20. mmmm...now i want some ramen. the dishes look amazing, sad though that the spicy ramen wasn't but thank you for the review(s).
    xx http://1finedai.blogspot.com

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  21. i remember when i was in nyc, i tried toto ramen and i loved it. my friend told me ippudo is good too! :D

    Animated Confessions

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    1. Ooh yeah I remember waiting for Toto Ramen for like 2 hrs haha but I did like Ippudo for sure!

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  22. I love everything about Japanese food, like I can go for tempura for now lol

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  23. ohmygoshhh this place looks amazing!!! theres nothing better than ramen :P

    http://katslovefashion.blogspot.com

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    1. Wouldn't suggest coming here tho, Kat!

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  24. Bon apettite!

    http://beautyfollower.blogspot.gr

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  25. Nice post and very cute shoots)

    mary-tur.ru

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