Rockmeisha Izakaya (an izakaya is a Japanese drinking place that also serves food) is tucked in a quiet street in the West Village. Unlike most drinking establishments, Rockmeisha isn't loud or chaotic. On the contratry, it is quiet, intimate, and un-fussy. In other words, it's a real gem.
I went with my regular food-hunting "kakis" - Sar, G & AX. We ordered six small dishes to share.
First came the mentai (pollock roe) rubbed chicken wings. The marination was superb, and the wings were juicy. The skin was not crispy, so if you are looking for Popeye's fried chicken type of thing, it might disappoint.
Next up was the elephant garlic croquette. When we cut into it, a BIG garlic was revealed, and BIG in a "I've-never-seen-a-garlic-this-big" kind of way. The croquette was made with little pieces of chopped daikon, not the regular potato so it was less creamy but I actually preferred this version.
The Nanban (fried chicken with tartar sauce) was pretty mind-blowing. We analyzed the delicious tartar sauce, there were chopped egg whites in it, and we suspected that it was tartar sauce but perhaps mayo with vinegar.
The tofu steak with mushroom actually tasted more like a Chinese dish than a Japanese dish but it was very appetizing. The mentai dumplings were mediocre. I'm typically not into chicken feet, pig toe (although I'm unmistakenly Chinese), but I the tonsoku (grilled pig toe) stole the show. It was slightly sticky, a little crispy & very very flavorful.
The price tag for a small bowl of hakata ramen was a little steep at $14 but it was worth it, I think. It was less rich/heavy than the hakata ramen in Ippudo, but you could still taste the porky-ness of the soup (in a good way) and very hearty. Again, they used the thin noodle and they gave us about 4/5 slices of chasu per bowl.
Rockmeisha, rocked my world!
Address: Rockmeisha, 11 Barrow St, New York, NY 10014
8 months ago