Tuesday, March 29, 2016


It is the one year anniversary of Rai Rai Ken's Harlem location and thing have changed quite a bit at the little shop on Amsterdam by 133rd Street. Walking by during lunchtime in the past couple of weeks, we noticed that the place was full of sit-in diners so decided to check it out.  One of most dramatic changes is that the layout of the ramen-ya now has more formal seating with banquets at one wall where there just used to be a sidebar and the place feels more like a small restaurant instead of a carryout spot.

Meal service is also offered up in real bowls and plates along with glassware for drinks.  Before it was all takeout containers even for those dining in.  The overall experience feels more polished and we thoroughly enjoyed a bowl of mapo tofu ramen that was presented in a much larger quantity than previously provided.  Mochi ice cream was also part of the set meal price but we did not have enough room to try it out after having the side of crispy karaage fried chicken.

Rai Rai Ken is also open for dinner so make sure to support this great new spot in the evenings since the owners where the ones to originally transformed the east village into a Japanese dining destination.   A Japanese curry spot will be next door this week and if these two do well, more should arrive at this part of Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattanville.  More on Curry-Ya uptown in our past post: LINK

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