The start of autumn means it's almost sweater weather and ramen weather, two of the most important types of weathers one looks forward to each year. This auspicious season brings the arrival of Jun-Men Ramen, a ramen-ya that's small in size but big in flavor, owned and executed by Korean-born chef Jun Park. In his 25-seat restaurant, Park is creating a melting pot of Japanese, Korean, American and Italian flavors, from more traditional Pork Bone Ramen ($14), made with chashu and a bone broth simmered for 14 hours, to another ramen made with Kimchi ($15), to a very nouveau New York "Greens" salad ($8) made with kale and quinoa.
It's the perfectly rendered soft-medium boiled egg I noticed first about my bowl of Spicy Miso ramen ($15) during a meal orchestrated by Park's wife BoMee and presided over by their darling nine-month-old daughter. The soft egg white could barely contain the golden yolk, which delicately oozed from its casing to maker thicker the already rich pork-and-miso broth. If bad toppings can ruin a good broth, excellent toppings can enhance an already exemplary base.
Mazemen-style ramens, which eschew broth in favor of a rich sauce, aren't quite as common in city ramen joints. The version Park does here, his Uni Mushroom ($18), has a lot in common with an Italian carbonara pasta, employing porcini butter, tender mushrooms and roasted pancetta to great effect. The orange tongues of uni and a sprinkling of truffle oil add a satisfying touch of otherness, with their salty and umami-packed flavors. This is the bowl of noodles you want when the wind whips around Ninth Avenue at startlingly frigid temperatures.
In addition to the ramen offerings, Pork, BBQ Pork and Chicken buns, plus the Jun-Men Fried Rice ($10), fortified with fiery Thai chilies, and crunchy Chicken Wings, which are delicious but pricey at $9 for four. The Yellowtail Ceviche ($11) with kimchi jus and mango looked incredible but I didn't get to try it.
For dessert, there were a trio of house-made gelatos (coffee was the best, in my opinion) but as a savory-favorer, I'd recommend finishing a meal with the Fried Sweet Potatoes ($6). Is it unorthodox to eat french fries for dessert? Not when they're lacquered in a sweet maple-bourbon butter and dipped in the chef's special umami mayo. I'm an adult and I'll do what I want!
249 Ninth Avenue, (646) 852-6787; website