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Menya Sou/Takadanobaba
麺屋 宗/高田馬場


Menya Sou (Sou 宗 = "religion", "sect" or "denomination") is located about 10 minutes walk west from JR Takadanobaba station. One of the ramen trends from last year was "ramen dining", the idea that ramen can be presented in a nicer "restaurant" setting than the traditional ramen shop, and that there can be other dishes on the menu such as salads, other appetizers, fish, etc., not just noodles and various liquid and solid forms of farm animals. In addition to Menya Sou, another well-known ramen shop subscribing to this ramen dining theory is GoGyo. Menya Sou was on the cover of the June 2007 Torasan monthly ramen guidebook, which is a big deal.

In any case the wait inside the dimly-lit shop was quite pleasant as they had several chairs and a large number of ramen-related magazines to read while I waited. There was a single table the size of an ottoman that four people were somehow sitting at and eating. The service was a bit on the slow side, it took 5 minutes just to get the guy to come over and take my order. I ordered the aburi yaki toro soba (炙り焼トロそば), which was two pieces of well-grilled but thin, fairly fatty chashu over a bed of thinner noodles and chicken-type shio broth that had a fair amount of pepper in it. For the broth they also had an yuzu shio option that I did not choose. I also had the plum flavored gyoza which were good too. You will be asked whether you want thicker or thinner noodles to go in your bowl. It was all tasty but the portion was a bit small for the price. Good overall. Closed every second Sunday.

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