Rockmeisha is a small izakaya that features Mentai – marinated pollock and cod roe – across several of the dishes. The Mentai Potato Salad was creamy pink color from the Mentai, which gave it a salty, umami flavor that was balanced by the mild sweetness from the Japanese Mayonnaise. This dish was amazing, but it sells out quickly, we tried to get a second order around 7:30 at night and they were already out of it for the night. Another stand out was the Miso Brussel Sprouts, which were served split into halves and topped with miso-sesame sauce. The sprouts were perfectly fried so the outer leaves were crispy and the inner heart was soft. One thing we learned quickly was that the waitresses are all business, be ready to order when they stop by, if you dither on your ordering they get annoyed and walk off.
The Dumplings: the various online menus for Rockmeisha list different house-made dumpling options, but when we went they only had the Mentai Shrimp Gyoza. After the Mentai Potato Salad I was looking forward to the gyoza, but the mix of mentai and shrimp underwhelmed me, somehow the filling was bland. Another issue was the bottoms of the dumplings were pan fried past golden brown on their way to burnt – the main thing I tasted was burnt oil.
The Dipping Sauce: the dipping sauce is a light soy and vinegar mix which was pretty tasty. But like at a lot of places, the sauce was served in a tiny bowl and it was impossible to dip the dumplings without sloshing sauce all over the place.
The Location: Rockmeisha is in New York’s Greenwich Village, on Barrow Street off West 4th Street, just after West 4th heads north. Barrow Street is pretty quiet and mainly seems to get foot traffic from people heading to “One of by Land Two if by Sea”.