Mei-Jin: Neighborhood Ramen and Great Fried Chicken

Upper East Side ramen. That’s what this post is about.

Mei-Jin isn’t somewhere I  purposely headed. But, after a late afternoon viewing of (the quite good) Into the Woods, it was raining. And I was powerfully hungry. So, ramen it was! This spot is very comfortable and large – there is no need for reservations even when it’s busy. The turn over is quick and there always seems to be more room.

20150118_190128 Chicken karage

Wonderful Japanese fried chicken. Piping hot and juicy, with a puffy, shattering crust. Squeeze lemon over it, sprinkle it with salt,and drag it through the slightly spicy aioli. The acid is key – it makes the taste pop and sparkle. This is better than even Korean fried chicken because it isn’t overly salty or spicy – the taste is really all about that chicken.  20150118_190334 Fried Chinese broccoli

Fried and indulgent. Pleasantly greasy but still crisp shards of tempura over crunchy Chinese broccoli. it’s dragged through sweet hoisin sauce. FRied, sweet, crunchy..PLUS vegetables? It’s a win win!
20150118_192103 Ginger chicken meatball ramen

So tasty on a cold night. Bouncy noodles and a (rather thin) gingery chicken broth. It’s filled to the brim with soft chicken meatballs and goodies like… 20150118_192322 a barely hardboiled egg,with a still translucent yolk… 20150118_192415 and those lovely, familiar ramen noodles. This bowl is gigantic and well priced – I could have shared it with someone and still been filled to the brim.

Mei-Jin isn’t destination worthy ramen, but it’s a great neighborhood joint. I miss the thick, velvety tonkatsu broth of other venerable spots, but this is really tasty and there is no need to queue for 6 hours beforehand. Excellent service, a great menu, and tasty food for fair prices. ON a rainy night, it hits the spot.