A year ago, Great Neck was a ramen-free zone. Now, with the opening of Teinei Ya, it has three purveyors of the Japanese noodle soup.
Ippon (which opened in August) serves a wide variety of Japanese dishes, and Ren Wen (this March) uses ramen as a jumping-off point for a range of inventive international noodle dishes. But Teinei Ya, an offshoot of a Queens restaurant that opened in May 2014, is a straight-ahead, classic ramen shop whose menu does not stray far from its eight noodle bowls, plus a handful of starters and sides.
The menu helpfully rates each ramen bowl on a five-point richness scale. With its creamy pork-and-chicken broth, Yokohama-style ramen scores a four out of five. Tonkotsu ramen, made with a clear-ish pork broth, scores a two and a half. Vegetarian “tempula” ramen trails at one. There is also spicy ramen, dan dan sesame ramen, and ramen with edamame falafel, as well as tomato-beef stew and Chinese zha jiang, nude noodles topped with a sauce of minced pork and fermented soybean paste. Prices range from $11 to $13.
It’s a chic little shop, with elegant wooden chairs, oversized wicker light fixtures and tables helpfully set with both laquered chopsticks and forks, plus toothpicks. The kitchen is open and, instead of a table, you can pull up a stool and watch the show while you eat.
No liquor for now (a beer and wine license is in the works) but there is a good selection of imported Japanese soft drinks.
Teinei Ya is at 5 S. Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck Plaza, 516-472-0672.