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Hello, is this thing on?

Oh hi, everyone!  My name is NoshGirl, and it’s been a week since my last blog post.  While the responsibilities of a full-time job and a lil’ side trip to NOLA (food pictures coming soon!) kept me from blogging as much as I’d like, I’m back, ya’ hear me? I’m baaaaack! Today I’d like to share a hidden find in Midtown – Menchanko Tei.

The storefront is a little nondescript, but what drew my eating buddy and me in was the promise of an authentic noodle dish that was the food of sumo wrestlers.  I mean come on, how could we resist that?

By the way, I had heard that sumo wrestlers are considered highly desirable by a sizable population of women in Japan – is this true?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Anyway, according to the menu, “Menchanko” originates from a combination of the words noodle (“men”) and sumo wrestler (“chanko”) and is a “unique sumo tradition.”  Enough about the history – here are the noodles:


Served in a pre-heated  cast iron bowl, the dish has chicken, shrimp, tofu, veggies, fishball and of course noodles.  Now I’m not sure if sumo wrestlers have surprisingly small appetites or my eating buddy that day (measuring in at a towering 5 feet 0 inches) was particularly ravenous, but this bowl of noodles was totally manageable.  Fifteen minutes later, it was history.  The broth was light, the ingredients fresh and the noodles staying.

I wasn’t feeling as sumo-inclined that day, so I ordered the Assari ramen, with pork slices, boiled egg, seaweed, bamboo shoots and scallion (first picture).  While the Assari couldn’t compare to my ramen favorites at Ippudo or Hide-Chan, this noodle bowl was still respectable.

I’m going with a 2-Apple rating for Menchanko Tei. It won’t blow your mind, but it’s a perfectly fine option if you find yourself in want of a cheap and quick lunch in Midtown.

The food of sumo wrestlers. Apparently.

Menchanko Tei 43 West 55th St. (btw 5th/6th Ave)


Ok for real – is the sumo wrestler attractiveness thing true?