New Downtown Ramen Shop Likely to Appeal to Fun-Loving Crowd

ivanramen

This is not Menoki’s ramen.

The last dedicated ramen shop to open in Charleston closed within weeks, but the forthcoming Menkoi Ramen House has a weapon that’s likely to conquer any local skepticism about its noodle bowls.

“Spicy ramen is their most popular dish,” Jonathan Sharpe, an avid eater and food photographer in Columbia, says of the restaurant’s original location. “The secret of its hangover-curing properties is out here.”

Menkoi recently posted a sign in the window of the former Manny’s Neighborhood Grill, first spotted by Eater Charleston. According to a staffer at the Columbia store, the Charleston restaurant is scheduled to open later this month. Continue reading

Tsukemen-Slurping Time at XBB

tsukemenCelebrity chefs’ reverence for ramen – the subject of the first-ever issue of Lucky Peach, David Chang’s uber-hip food quarterly, and a recurring theme on Anthony Bourdain’s shows – has helped a nation of eaters understand there’s much more to the genre than the noodle packages they bought for a dime apiece as college students. But now that ramen’s common, it’s tsukemen’s turn.

Like ramen, tsukemen is composed of noodles, pork, egg and vegetal accoutrements. But if ramen is a symphony, tsukemen is a concerto, with each component taking a solo turn. Instead of mixing the elements together in a bowl of hot broth, a tsukemen chef serves the noodles, naked and cool, alongside a concentrated dipping broth. Tsukemen – pronounced SKEH-men, almost like lemon – is ideal for warm days. Continue reading

New Happy Hour Menu at Fish

fishAlthough Fish recently did away with its lunchtime deal, the downtown restaurant hasn’t yet quit offering sale prices before sundown.

The revamped Happy Hour menu, which runs every day from 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m., features a selection of small plates and discounted drinks. On Mondays and Wednesdays, the cost of cheese plates and bottles of wine under $90 is marked down 50 percent. On Fridays and Saturdays, the food special is $6 dumplings. Six bucks also buys mussels and fries on Tuesdays; a French-Asian small plate on Thursdays and noodle bowls on Sundays.

House wine, well liquor and house Champagne are priced at $4 a drink during Happy Hour.

For more information, visit fishrestaurantcharleston.com.

John’s Island Welcomes First (Partially) Korean Restaurant

Someone else's bowl of jajangmyeon/ stu_spivack

Someone else’s bowl of jajangmyeon/ stu_spivack

After months of fending off anxious queries from eaters hungry for bibimbap, Kenny Tyler is finally on the cusp of opening Sunae’s, a fast-service hibachi and Korean grill. If the planning department approves it, the John’s Island restaurant will start serving on Wednesday.

“All I hear is ‘when are you going to open?’,” says Tyler. “At the new Bi-Lo, even at the Publix on Savannah Highway, everywhere I go, it’s ‘When are you going to open? What’s the holdup?’”

Tyler says it took three months to convert the 1766 Main St. storefront which previously housed Billy Dee’s Premium Chicken; the fried chicken shack closed in 2011. After “DHEC came in and tore it up,” Tyler had to update the space to comply with current building codes.

“That wasn’t no picnic,” he says. Continue reading