The latest from the Mensho group is here. After a successful shop in San Francisco, and an even more successful shop in a food court in Kawasaki, Shono-san is back in his home area, taking residency in the old Chabuya ramen shop (an amazing shop that has been closed for about 5 years now).
The concept here, as with every Mensho shop, is a bit different. Farm to bowl, with a focus on the harmony of the five elements.
No, not earth, wind, fire, water, and metal. Soup, tare, oil, noodles, and toppings.
When I went soon after they opened, there were just two options on the menu. Shio ramen and stone-milled tsukemen. I went shio with an extra side of duck chashu.
Wow, this one impresses.
The soup and noodles are normal, if normal means snapper and scallop soup with Japanese sea salt from Oshima and Ishikawa.
Toppings are where this one gets unique. Little scallop bites, dusted with burnt onion powder. Umami bombs. The yellow is karasumi, cured fish roe. I've only seen karasumi in expensive seafood restaurants. Definitely a first for a ramen shop.
The duck was excellent, but you should really be ordering more of the chicken. Pressed in konbu, then cooked sous vide, this was some of the most tender, flavorful chicken I've had on any bowl of ramen in Tokyo.
The tsukemen pulls no punches either.
Stone ground flour. Freshly ground. This is probably your only chance to taste noodles made so fresh.
Served with two cups of broth. One is a light duck and vegetable broth. The other is a small serving of onsen water from Kagoshima. Noodles dipped in water, something I've never seen before.
The shop is only open for lunch these days, but that will probably change. A must-hit if you want a modern, stylish bowl.
Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Otowa 1-17-16
Closest Station: Gokokuji