March 29, 2019 Update:
I cringe sometimes when I read things I wrote over 3 years ago. I had to take an entire paragraph about Cialis, yes Cialis, from this post because its not very relevant or funny today. But here it is.. an oldie but.. Ok, just an oldie. Z-List staple Jun-Men is clicking on all cylinders, and established itself as one of the most important Chelsea neighborhood hangouts. Well, you cant hang out for too long as the place is very small and waits can stretch to the corner. But this is the only place I know where you add yourself to the list on the ipad in the front, where you can see exactly how many are ahead of you. A good spot to go before Hudson Yards if you want to eat “local”
The Ramen here settled down to a silky smooth broth, losing, in a good way, some of that heaviness felt sometimes here. The Spicy Miso is the way to go on a cooler day. The signature Uni Mushroom “Mazemen” (brothless ramen) is still the same feel good creamy pasta goodness I crave every time I’m here, even though it includes truffle oil. Fake truffle flavoring rarely works but it does no harm here. The wings I noticed later in the afternoon can get a bit greasier but that soy makes up for it big time. And on a recent visit I was impressed by the elaborated quinoa based poke bowl (below). What happened? I simply woke up that day realizing I ate nothing but pizza, pastas, and burgers for 5 days.
October 28th, 2015 Post:
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). Its just a matter of time until this site is changed to Eating Ramen With Ziggy to boost more eye balls. EWZ
interns researchers report the Staten Island is 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.
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!
249 Ninth Ave (25/26), Chelsea
Rating: 2 Z’s (out of 4)
Stars range from Good to Exceptional. Simple as that
Recommended Dishes: Fried Rice, wings, Uni Mushroom, Kimchi Ramen, Spicy Miso, Poke Bowl