I've written about the excellent ramen shop Shono before, but I'd like to revisit their classic bowl, a special tonkotsu gyokai ramen.
Shono is now branded as MENSHO TOKYO, and their five Tokyo-based shops are all excellent. The highlight are the homemade noodles, and soups and toppings that come together in a perfect balance. Soon, he will open in San Francisco, adding a sixth great shop to the mix.
Menya Shono is the first, and has been operating for 10 years. I'm drawn again and again to the gentei bowls; limited ramen available only for a month at a time. Since opening, they have produced roughly 180 gentei bowls. From fancy ones like foie gras tsukemen, to simple shio bowls, and a Valentine's chocolate bowl. But no shop can survive on gentei alone. Their standard bowl keeps customers coming back.
This is tonkotsu gyokai, a blend of pork soup and fish soup. The pork soup is boiled for roughly two days. It's creamy and fatty and full of umami tastes. Of course, the noodles are perfectly matched. Skinny and firm. The addition of gyokai, a soup made with dried fish from Chiba Prefecture and the Seto Inland Sea add a slightly bitter, rustic punch, flavors that pork alone lack.
If you opt for the tokusei, special version, you'll be treated to all the trimmings. Flame-kissed chashu along with low-temperature cooked pork. Of course, the egg is amazing. What a beautiful, perfect bowl!
Official Site Here
Tokyo, SHinjuku-ku, Ichigayatamachi 1-3
Closest station: Ichigaya
Open 11:00-15:00, 17:00-23:00