Dinner at Mechanko Tei

*Note: All photos on this post are all taken with my iPhone 5.*

Karaniku Tofu - deep fried tofu served with spicy meat sauce
Karaniku Tofu

Recently, I went out with a friend for dinner at Menchanko Tei in Midtown East. This narrow, two story restaurant has a sturdy customer base of Japanese business people, where four beach-ball-sized round paper lanterns hover over the dining room, large color photos of Japanese street scenes decorate the walls, and the cooks are hidden in the basement kitchen. This restaurant may not be the hottest ramen restaurant in NYC but it serves authentic bowls of ramen.

We started with deep fried karaniku tofu ($5.75) that managed to still retain its silken texture yet sturdy enough to be picked up with chopsticks. Covered in stir-fried, spicy ground pork and thin slices of red chilies, it still had a refreshing element to it.

Kimchi ramen - a cold noodle dish with assorted vegetables Miso Menchanko w/fried chicken & yuba
Kimchi ramen (seasonal special) and Miso Menchanko

Their house special is the menchanko, fat egg noodles in a fragrant chicken broth, is full of shrimp, little rice cakes and ground fish except we opted for the miso menchnko ($9.50; photo on right) set in a cast iron pot with our add-ons of fried chicken ($3) and silky yuba ($2). Eating this hearty bowl of noodles is like a bear hug on a warm night. Soul warming and filling.

The kimchi ramen ($9.50) is a seasonal special. The ramen was cooked and cooled set in a cold broth, topped with an assortment of cooked yet cooled, shredded pork and vegetables like shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, and thin ribbons of egg with swirls of mildly spicy kimchi sauce. Refreshing and delicious.

Mechanko Tei

131 East 45th Street
(Between Lexington and Third Aves.)
New York, NY 10017
Telephone: (212) 986-6805


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.