It is the sakura season now in Japan! Personally I think that it is one of the most beautiful moments of the year. I visited the Meguro river and took a stroll along the bank lined by sakura. Beautiful!
|Sakura at Meguro river|
It was nearly lunchtime and I was looking for something to eat.
And just when I was looking around, I spotted this signboard of a ramen store! What a coincidence.
Following the signboard, I reached Menya Sou (麺屋 宗). Situated along Yamate Dori near the Nakameguro station, it is a small ramen joint with only about 10 counter seats. The main outlet of Menya Sou is at Takadanobaba, and this Nakameguro outlet is its 2nd one.
The note on the left of the picture shows the opening hours of the store. But the information that is more important is the number of servings that they serve per session. Over lunch, there is a limit of only 50 servings, and 100 for dinner!
Menya Sou is an award-winning ramen joint - It was selected by the readers of magazine "Tokyo Weekly" as the ramen of the year in 2007 and 2008, among other awards. Its specialties are shio ramen and tsukemen (dipped ramen)
I ordered the shop's recommendation, Special Uma Shio Soba (980 yen)
The ramen is topped with a whole tamago, bamboo shoot, 3 pieces of char siew, mizuna, spring onion and shredded chili. The char siew is grilled over charcoal before it is served, and I guess it is thinly sliced to suit the simple shio soup. The menma is hand-shredded, so it is much longer than the usual menma served. Something special.
The soup is a combination of clear chicken soup and seafood stock, together with 2 types of salts. It was tasty and light, matching the toppings that are also simple.
Menya Sou also prepared 3 types condiments for us to add to the ramen and play with the flavours - pepper, plum vinegar and its original "sou space". In particular, the plum vinegar (the red one in the center) is for the shio ramen. I added some to my soup - it made the soup more refreshing and even more drinkable. I finished the soup until its last drop!
|Pepper, Plum Vinegar and Sou Spice|
Another thing that I noticed was the ramen bowl. The bowl used seems to be more sophisticated than those used in other ramen shops.
It was only later that I found out why. The owner of Menya Sou is Yanagi Munenori (柳 宗紀), who is the grand nephew of Yanagi Sori (柳 宗理), one of the iconic industrial designer in Japan and was passionate about promotion of local crafts. The shop uses designs of Yanagi Sori, which include some kitchenware as well. No wonder the bowls look good!
A bowl of ramen that I will recommend for those who like shio ramen. I will try to visit their main store in Takadanobaba next time!
Ramen Data - Menya Sou NakameguroAddress: 3-5-55 Nakameguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Types: Shio ramen, Tsuke-men