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Pete Wells Still Loves Mu Ramen, Plus High Praise for El Rey, Mission Chinese, and Betony

All of this week's restaurant reviews.

Mission Chinese Food
Mission Chinese Food
Daniel Krieger

Robert Sietsema's review comes out later today, but in the meantime, here's a roundup of what the rest of the city's critics are talking about this week:

Pete Wells visits Mu Ramen, which he once said had the city's best ramen back when it was a pop-up. He still loves it: "The tonkotsu has a flavor both deep and long, with extraordinary balance and a rounded profile that has no jarring, gamy edges. Without being greasy, it's gorgeously full-bodied and almost chewy...The flavor is very good, but it's the texture that can rock you back on your three-legged stool." Two stars. [NYT]

Zachary Feldman is impressed by El Rey, where chef Gerardo Gonzalez only recently started serving his California-style food for dinner: "Proteins...appear sparingly. When they do show up, they're treated to the same finesse the chef bestows on his produce. Gonzalez tames oily Portuguese sardines by pairing the boned fillets with whipped Greek-yogurt butter, radishes, and carrot-top salsa verde, tapping his Mexican roots by layering the entire colorful display on a tostada." [VV]

Joshua David Stein is blown away by the new Mission Chinese Food: "Mr. Bowien...is an attentive consigliere to celery, which he quickly stir-fries, accompanies with raw hazelnuts and leaves to its own devices. The masala milk, in which the Napa cabbage is steamed, renders the leaves as tender and sweet as a lullaby. The peanut milk, which replaces the traditional tentsuyu underneath the agedashi turnip cake, that old dim sum chestnut, mimics the mellow silky flavor of the warm cake." Five stars. [NYO]

Tejal Rao visits Betony, which recently went entirely prix fixe, and finds the results stellar: "Pairings can be wonderful, and one of the most exciting on a recent evening was a generous glass of brut Champagne. This went with the green pea tahini, which you scooped up with a small, raw, extremely tender frill of kale. When the next course arrives, a study in caviar, your Champagne gets refilled in the same glass, then splashed with a little unfiltered lager, and everything turns dark and malty and smoky." Three stars. [Bloomberg]

Christina Izzo mostly enjoys the upscale Hawaiian menu at Noreetuh: "A chilled bowl of silken tofu ($12) is a culture-crossing beaut, nodding to the still-prevalent Asian migrations to the islands, soft as chawanmushi with equally Japanese touches like poppy ikura, shiitake mushrooms, anisey shiso and velvety slips of uni." Three stars. [TONY]

THE ELSEWHERE: Shauna Lyon finds a hidden gem in Racines. Ligaya Mishan checks out HanYan BunSik, a Korean "snack corner" in Flushing. Gael Greene has an early look at Lupulo. Sarah Zorn loves Nate Smith's Bar Bolinas.

THE BLOGS: Chekmark Eats loves the chicken at El Colmado Butchery, the Infatuation deems Cookshop a reliable classic, the Food Doc tries the snacks and drinks at Porchlight, NY Journal finds some redeeming qualities in the pricey Limani, Chopsticks + Marrow eats a mac and cheese-topped brisket sandwich at John Brown Smokehouse, Restaurant Girl tours the new vendors at Mad. Sq. Eats, and Gothamist tries the new tasting menu at Alder.

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