Benten is located on a corner location right next to the Kanda River in Takadanobaba. It was always ranked as one of the most popular shops in the area, including still being ranked within the top 10 tsukemen places in Tokyo in magazines within the last few month, and I can remember the lines being extremely long at one point. This trip (my first) was actually on a cold evening so perhaps that had something to do with the fact that there was a line of only one or two people. Note that the line sometimes starts in front of the store but then continues across the street. Inside the store is quite cramped and informal. There is no ticket machine, you order directly from the cooking staff when you sit down. Benten's claim to fame appears to be the large volume. The default noodle size is 350g, but you can get 650g or even 1000g (2.2 lbs of noodles) if you want. Perhaps these large volumes are because the shop is so close to Waseda University and all of the hungry college students. It's also not too far from a good Chinese/Singaporean restaurant that my wife and I have been to: Big Land's Tree. The noodles are Taishoken-style, the lighter-color kind that goes well with a lighter dipping sauce. The dipping sauce was a decent pork/fish mixture but the big story is that it was crammed full of chopped pork slices, however the menma was already sold out by the time we got there. Normally the chashu menma tsukemen is 1000 yen. I give this store a Recommended rating based on the large volume.
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