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The brainchild of chef Tomoharu Shono – who already has eight ramen restaurants in Tokyo and one in San Francisco – Mensho proclaims that it’s serving ‘a bowl for tomorrow’. It certainly is unlike any other ramen restaurant in the city.
For one, it looks like a gallery: bright, contemporary and slick. The walls feature notations about the different components of ramen, complete with their chemical breakdown. True to its ‘farm-to-bowl’ ethos, Mensho lists the provenance of its ingredients, while you get to peek into the production room where they make the noodles.
While ramen is traditionally a hearty soul food with a rich, gutsy soup, Mensho has taken all the best bits and crystallised them into a modern bowl that’s surprisingly clean and light yet still flavourful. The signature seafood ramen has a clear broth made with sea bream, scallops and sea salt, and is complemented by fare that looks like it’s been plucked from a modernist restaurant. Think scallops rolled in burnt Welsh onion ash, karasumi (cured fish roe), slippery tuna wantons and barely cooked slices of chicken. It’s a surprising bowl of noodles, which will make you want to try the rest of the small but impressive menu: don’t miss the duck tsukemen (dipping noodles) and rice bowls.