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Jun 18, 2007 09:07 AM

Cold Summetime Ramen

I am lookin gfor the best cold summertime ramen in Manhattan. Any neighbourhood is fine, downtown preferred. Such a good warm weather meal.

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  1. My favorite is the hiyashi chuka from Menchanko Tei. There's two branches, one on 45th and Lex, the other on 55th and 5th. I don't like the sesame sauced one as much as I think the vinegar base adds more punch. Most other ramenyas will sell hiyashi chuka this time of the year, so you can hit all the usual suspects and try them all.

    7 Replies
    1. re: xigua

      Out of convenience, I went to Menchanko-tei for the hiyashi chuka during this heatwave, and I have to say, it was pretty lousy. One of the worst versions I've had. My dining companion gave me that "I told you so" look because it's notorious among many Japanese expats that Menchanko-tei's hiyahi chuka is hopeless.

      1. re: E Eto

        Do you know of a better version in the vicinity? The Menchanko-Tei on 45th is just across the street from my office, so I go there when I get a hankering. I had it yesterday, it was fine but not as good as the other times I've had it. Maybe they were busy.

        1. re: E Eto

          I'm sorry you had such a bad meal. What did you not like about the dish?
          Truthfully I've had Hiyashi chuka in all the ramenya's in Midtown and found I liked Menchanko Tei's my favorite but it may be because I've not had ramen outside New York. Your answer would be great for helping me learn how to distinguish good v bad ramen. thanks!

          1. re: E Eto

            Saburi's at 30th and lex is pretty authentic and very good

            1. re: raji212

              I tried Saburi's hiyashi chuka and while it's pretty good, it's not that great. Worlds better than the one at Menchanko-tei though. The vinegar broth was good, but I didn't care for the measly toppings. Next time I find myself at Saburi, I'll try the hiyashi goma (cold noodle with sesame sauce) instead.

              1. re: E Eto

                I prefer Menchanko-Tei's version to Saburi's. I don't know if it's authentic, but I think it's pretty good, and yes, the toppings are more ample and of higher quality.


                1. re: E Eto

                  I think you'll like the hiyashigoma even better.

          2. Rai Rai Ken on 10th btwn 1st & 2nd is my fave. In fact, I think I may go there for lunch today.

            5 Replies
            1. re: davisready

              I second Rai Rai Ken, their hiyashi chuka was really good. The one at Menchanko Tei (45th St) is good too, but not as good as RRK's.

              1. re: davisready

                Re. RRK, their cha-han (fried rice) is also very good. I recently had it during a visit not too long ago, and it was perhaps even better than their ramen! ...and you can't beat the atmosphere...

                1. re: davisready

                  Attaching pic of Rai Rai Ken's version which is quite flavorful but my after meal impression is as if I've just eaten half a ramen dish and half a salad.

                  But that's just me, I prefer a simpler, less complex dish where the ramen is the highlight. Otherwise, there's nothing wrong with RRK's hiyashi chuka, you get that same refreshing experience, just a different route ;)

                  1. re: bokkyo

                    agree with the rai rai ken post-taste (almost a bit too nuts with the ingredients), really want to try saburi as well.

                    similar recent thread (

                  2. re: davisready

                    I had the cold ramen at Rai Rai Ken for lunch last Friday, and I thought it was good, although I agree there were possibly a few too many ingredients. Being a total carb addict, I could have used a much higher ratio of noodle-to-topping. I wasn't fond of the apple slices they threw in there either--aside from being kind of large, indelicate slices, the texture was mushy. I've never had cold ramen anywhere else though, so I don't know if this is normal for the dish. As a whole though I liked it, and I'm looking forward to trying this dish elsewhere.

                  3. sapporo on 49th street, just east of 7th ave, makes a good, generously portioned hiyashi chuka. menchanko tei, mentioned above, is also nice.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: david sprague

                      I think Sapporo's Hiyashi Chuka had changed over the past few years, then it was more "purist," i.e. less meats but I think about a couple years ago they started to add chicken and their version had become noticeably "sweeter."

                      1. re: bokkyo

                        i am glad you said that, i noticed the change as well. i dont like it so much now.

                    2. The best ramen I've ever had was in a very nondescript restaurant on 56th (btwn 5th and 6th). I can't remember its name but its sign reads "Lamen" and its on the south side of the street. It has a mostly Japanese clientele and modest prices.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: huckle

                        This is Men Kui Tei, 60 W 56. My preference for ramen, but I haven't had the hiyashi.

                      2. Saburi has a hiyashi chuka, a hiyashi gomae, and cold duck reimen(chewier than ramen, similar to korean nangmyun)

                        I love the cold jar jar men at menkueiitei

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Ricky

                          Oh yeah, the duck cold ramen, I was just there last week, it was soooo good and refreshing!

                          1. re: Ricky

                            I just went for the cold duck ramen on Friday. The noodles were pleasantly chewy and the duck slices were a bit tough, but they were flavorful. The broth was great, less sweet than in the Rai Rai Ken cold ramen. Overall, quite refreshing and tasty.

                            My friend got the Saburi special ramen and seemed to enjoy it a lot. I took a sip of broth and it seemed very Chinese in flavor, in a good way. We also split the soft shell crab appetizer, greaselessly fried and with ponzu sauce for dipping, and the cold almond tofu for dessert. Both were pretty good.

                            I'm sure this goes against tradition but I kind of wish the ramen strands weren't quite so long. It was hard to mix things around properly, and to eat with any delicacy. I guess that's my problem whenever I eat noodles though.