Rai Rai Ken Noodles East Village New York
214 E. 10th St., New York, NY 10003
between First and Second Aves.
As most college students on a budget, I survived on Ramen noodles. Besides being a cheap food that is quick and easy to make, it’s also great after a long night of drinking – it satisfies your hunger and prevents you from getting a nasty hangover the next day. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the 14 available seats at the tiny hole in the wall Rai Rai Ken Ramen Noodle bar in the East Village are always taken. The key to great ramen noodles is the broth. At Rai Rai they serve a few types of MSG-Free broths for their ramen including a seafood base, a soy sauce base and vegetable base. I got the soy sauce base with a slice of roast pork and it was great. It comes with a half slice of a hard boiled egg, seaweed, etc. If you’re not into ramen noodles Rai Rai Ken also offers curry plates, fried plates and gyoza. The interesting thing that we noticed that night was that the cooks behind the counter were speaking Shanghainese!! I guess that these guys are originally from Shanghai and then spent time in Japan? Not sure of the full story. Anyhow it’s not an uncomon thing – I mean you’ll find Vietnamese bakers at Absolute Bagels, Korean cooks at Taco Fiesta, and Mexican cooks at Chinese restaurants. Sometimes the cooks blend their heritage into their regional cooking like at La Caridad 78 where Cuban and Chinese combine.
Didn’t have my camera on me that night but (Photo compliments of New York Metro.com)