Chef Tomoharu Shono has a stiff prescription for eating ramen: enjoy the contents of your bowl in their freshly prepared state. That means refraining from conversation during your meal, and absolutely no sharing among the table.
But it’s also a bit of a public service announcement. If guests to Mensho Tokyo would hold back on the chat, as Shono suggests, it might help to abate the hour-long queues his 28-seat ramen joint has been generating since it opened in 2023.
Shono founded Mensho Tokyo in 2015, which has since become a revered ramen chain with outposts in the US (the San Francisco location is listed in the Michelin guide), Thailand, India, and now Australia, with this store being the first Australian location for the chain.
The menu here offers six types of ramen. Among them is a signature tori paitan, which uses a chicken broth based on mizutaki, a Japanese hot pot dish. To make the broth, the kitchen team simmers chicken, kelp and vegetables for six hours and then refrigerates the soup for 24 hours to help develop its flavour. The resulting creamy white broth is served with fresh noodles and topped with duck char siu.
The richest offering on the menu is the premium Wagyu ramen, which is limited to just 20 bowls per day. For this dish, broth is made with Australian chocolate-fed Wagyu and is served with Yarra Valley salmon roe and Tasmanian sea urchin as toppings.
Upstairs, a machine produces noodles using a blend of milled local wheat, rye and quinoa. Noodles also change seasonally – during the winter months, noodles are made thick and wavy, but in summer the team makes thin and straight noodles for the dipping-style tsukemen.
As well as ramen, you can also expect sake pairing recommendations and side dishes including chicken and eggplant karaage, fried enoki mushroom, and crispy corn 'wings'.
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