Kenka – open until 4am… you know what that means.

25 Saint Marks Pl
(between 3rd Ave and Astor Place)
New York, NY 10003

New York City night owls, prepare to meet your next favorite drunken food spot.  Think cheap Japanese tapas… the menu is huge, featuring a wide variety of foods like yakitori (Japanese bbq on a stick), grilled fish, fried udon, ramen, fried rice, soup, and even mochi ice cream.  AND it is open until 4am on Fridays and Saturdays.  The food is not ridiculously mind-blowing but it is pretty good… and it becomes ridiculously mind-blowing when you’re intoxicated, of course.  I actually recently went just for dinner and so was finally able to take pictures.  Pictured above is the Yaki Udon, which is fried udon noodle with pork, squid and vegetables ($6.50).  The noodles are thick and chewy.  Pork was fatty and flavorful.

Here is the Yakitori BBQ Chicken ($4.00).  It is nothing compared to Yakitori Totto, but certainly serves its purpose.  Meat was not super tender nor tough.  Sauce was a typical terriyaki kind of sauce.  I didn’t like it too much, but my friend M.B. wiped the plate clean.

This here is actually my favorite dish at Kenka and probably my favorite of its kind anywhere… It is the Toro Toro Yaki, aka. grilled fatty tuna ($7.50).  I know, fish is sketchy from places like this.  But this tuna is sooooo flavorful.  It is slightly sweet and extremely tender.  They must use a killer marinade.  Ever since J.H. introduced this to me a while ago, I’ve ordered it every time I’ve been there.

Next up is the Yakimeshi, or Japanese style pork fried rice ($6.50).  Japanese and Chinese fried rice is very different so if you haven’t tried it, you definitely should.  The Japanese style uses butter whereas Chinese cooking never uses butter.  It is also dusted with some black pepper, giving it a bite that Chinese fried rice doesn’t have.  Chinese fried rice also tends to stick together more, forming cohesive bites.  Japanese fried rice, on the other hand, is less sticky and therefore tends to taste more dry – not a bad thing, just a different texture.

This is the Buta Kimchee, basically pan-fried fatty pork with kimchee.  V.P. was craving something spicy so she ordered this.  Sadly, it really wasn’t spicy at all.  But it still tasted good.  You can’t really go wrong with fried fatty pork and kimchee.  The vinegary taste from the kimchee helped to balance the sweet flavors we had from the other dishes.

Go check it out for yourself!  The atmosphere is also fun interesting.  Japanese softcore porn adorns the walls and old Japanese music plays faintly in the background.  The place is grundgy and dark.  The tables are low and the seats are all stools.  It’s not a place to enjoy a “lovely meal.” It’s more of a place to have a good time.

4 thoughts on “Kenka – open until 4am… you know what that means.

  1. The fatty tuna was legit. If I could have that with a side of rice and kimchee, it’d be happy. Also, the yaki udon was MOVING!!!

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