Mensho Tokyo

Lamb Tonkotsu Ramen, all the way (ラム豚骨らーめん(全部のせ)) for 1,050 yen. Photographed May 2019.

Mensho Tokyo is a bit of a trek uphill from Suidobashi station on the Toei Mita Line in the middle of the Yamanote line loop (Korakuen station on the Tokyo Metro is actually much closer) but the thicc ramen lover in you would love to witness this miraculous marriage of lamb and pork. I have a primordial fear of lamb meat tasting a little gamey but I left Mensho Tokyo that rainy lunchtime remembering the gentle blend of lamb essence interwoven with perfectly cooked cuts of char siu in my ramen bowl.

Experimental and hungry customers can find an impressive array of spices on their table to dress their noodles, from hojicha powder, chili oil, to ginger-infused vinegar. But why try to improve something that is already perfect, I thought, as the lamb and pork umami overwhelmed all five of my senses simultaneously.

The kitchen and a cool-looking laboratory at the back takes up almost half of floor space, which makes the shop cosy and crowded, so don’t expect this modern take on ramen to be a date place. (Ramen dates aren’t really a great idea generally.) There was a tiny wait to be seated on a weekday lunchtime, but you can stare at the impressive niboshi chandelier by the entrance to pass the time.