The historic Ramen attack of the 21st century has been in full swing for a while now in Hell’s Kitchen, lower Manhattan, Queens, and parts of Brooklyn. And it has now infiltrated the belly, the pork belly of NYC if you will, Chelsea. This is a fierce, no prisoners, noodle assault on a city already overrun. Even those who dont specialize in Ramen succumb eventually and add it to the name (Puff Cha Ramen specializes in Thai curry Puffs, started as just Puff Cha. Kung Fu Little Steamed Buns Ramen specializes in steamed buns. Ivan Ramen is actually a Jew from Long Island called Ivan Orkin). Its just a matter of time until this site is changed to Eating Ramen With Ziggy Ramen. EWZ
interns researchers report the Staten Island is perhaps the only place in NYC where 9 out 10 residents react with a “You mean like.. instant?” when asked for local Ramen advice. The 10th will go “fughetaboutit” and direct you to his favorite eyetalian. You could say that Ramen is the new Cialis of the NYC food scene.
Digress corner… Have you ever wondered why our prime time TV is suddenly filled with erectile dysfunction commercials? I have a new theory about this. They are not targeting people who need it, but people who don’t. Think about it. Anyone who doesn’t know about Cialis or Viagra by now must be living under a rock. So the only thing left is for the “Healthy” population to start playing mind tricks instead of the usual tricks. Its becoming increasingly annoying especially when you watch TV with the kids. But I digress…
Outside Jun-Men looks like a swanky nail spa, especially when someone sits by the door facing the right bar/reception. Inside however, Jun-Men looks like a swanky nail spa with an open kitchen. Plenty of Instagram friendly natural light, communal table in the middle provide nice space for you and your phone, and then there’s counter seating facing a small army of pork belly torcherers. Drinks, apps, four Ramen items (one not really ramen, but more on that later), and two desserts are all listed on one idiot proof page. Considering the place is new, the kitchen seems to run things smoothly. On our last visit, the main (Ramen) came a few minutes after the half finished appetizer, and we were given the boot (check) before we were asked if we want dessert or anything else. But those are minor quibbles that will be corrected, if not soon, as soon as the first angry Yelpers mention it.
In this Ramen infested city, blogging about ramen is no longer considered sexy. While there’s definitely some fine Ramen at Jun-Men, the sexiness lies in the other dishes, one of which is pasta disguised as Ramen. The Uni Mushroom Mazemen may be considered dry even for Mazemen standards. Its a well crafted Pasta with mushrooms, salty pancetta, Porcini butter and truffle oil. The lower quality uni is just there for Instagram. I would order it with or without the uni. The tasty Kimchi Ramen featured unramen like juicy bits of pork shoulder, along with a solid broth. On the other hand, the Pork Bone on the last visit wasnt nearly as good. A bit too rich, too funky, too fatty chashu for my taste. The fried rice even with the too sweet Chinese sausage was one of the best fried rice in recent memory (7 days give or take), and priced very well considering the the crazy fried rice prices out there. The good looking wings will be next on the agenda, and maybe even some Matcha flavored cheesecake. Go!
(Terrible phone photo alert!)
249 Ninth Ave
Recommended Dishes: Fried Rice, Uni Mushroom, Kimchi Ramen