The third shop from highly desirable Menya Shono is here, and I had an exclusive invite to the pre-open extravaganza! Well, me and every other ramen nerd in town.
Gotsubo can be read as 五坪, and translates to five tsubo. A tsubo is an old Japanese measurement of area; about three square meters. Yeah, the shop is a measly 15 square meters in size. More on this later.
The concept is vegetables. No, nothing vegetarian here, but the idea is that instead of noodles, you dip piles of colorful, fresh veggies into the soup. The menu is full of options.
It is artistic, colorful, and a lot of fun.
But . . .
. . . the line for this pre-open event was long, about 25 people. While this can be normal for popular ramen, the shop only seats six people, and the process of cooking vegetables and arranging the plate takes much, much longer than an average bowl of noodles. The normal noodle formula for a ramen line is (time to wait) = (# of people) x (4 minutes). So 25 means about an hour and a half. Try two and a half. In winter. The forecast called for snow in Tokyo.
I totally recommend this shop, but if there are more than five people waiting, you might want to question your devotion to noodles.
Official Site Here
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Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 1-32-15
Closest station: Shinjuku 3-chome
Open 11:00-15:00, 16:00-22:00