If you want authentic, delicious ramen, and a true Japanese experience, Menshō Taketora near Roppongi Station is the place to go. Immediately upon entering, customers will feel as if they’ve walked into a bamboo forest. The whole restaurant is covered with bamboo-laden wallpaper, with tigers prowling behind the stems.
The menu is simple but features an extensive selection of entrées, appetizers, and desserts sure to make your stomach growl—not unlike a tiger—in anticipation.
Overall, service is great and the restaurant is foreigner-friendly. The menu contains some English, and most of the staff are able to speak a bit as well. The wait staff are personable and easy to talk to, and they bring out the food fairly quickly—the wait for the ramen was only 10 to 15 minutes.
The yuzu gyokai tonkotsu ramen (¥820) is a delicious bowl consisting of eggs, noodles, and vegetables—but best of all, pork. Each broth-soaked bite melts in your mouth.
The fish-based broth brings an interesting and unique flavor to the noodles that words can’t quite explain. The hard-boiled egg adds to the soup, cooked just enough so the yolk remains soft and juicy in the middle.
The deep-fried octopus (¥430) is an appetizer that isn’t easy to forget, with a crust that gives it a popcorn-shrimp texture. Try it with a spritz of freshly-squeezed lemon juice for a surprising but delightful sour punch.
The tiramisu daifuku (¥350) is inspired by the classic Italian dessert and wrapped in mochi. Its distinct chocolate taste, sweetened with powdered sugar, resonates in your mouth for a while before fading into the flavor of the ice cream-filled center.
For those wanting more to their dessert, the vanilla ice cream (¥300) is a sweet choice, with caramel syrup lightly drizzled on top for a contrasting taste. Plus, the two dango (rice dumplings) at the bottom of the bowl give an interesting texture, rendering the dessert not-so-vanilla after all.
The prices here are reasonable. Menshō Taketora is a good place to go if you want to save money but still enjoy great food.
Menshō Taketora. Open daily, 11am-9am the following morning. 1F Roppongi 314 Bldg., 3-14-14 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Nearest station: Roppongi.
Tel: 03-3479-3388. www.menshou-taketora.com