Ramen at Menya Shokudou (麺や食堂)

Ramen at Menya Shokudou (麺や食堂)

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Recommended bowl: A vintage ramen shop

Menya Shokudou is a blast from the past. The shop was established in 1951 by the grandfather of current shop master Takashi Mochidzuki. Vintage toys, festival masks and Japanese trinkets cover the rustic wooden counters and walls, creating the cheery impression of a family ramen restaurant from a more innocent era. Although Menya Shokudou serves one of the best bowls of classic shoyu ramen in Kanagawa prefecture, the shop's nostalgic appeal attracts all types of customers — families, salarymen, old folks and university kids — not just ramen geeks.

The presentation here is impeccable. A beautiful fan of thin, house-made noodles is draped into a golden shoyu soup. Shoyu ramen fans should place this shop high on their list — the soulful soup and the noodles alone are enough to warrant the one-hour trek down the Odakyu line from central Tokyo. Menya Shokudou's chashu and menma are simple and satisfying, but their egg is one of the best we've had. Good luck finding a neon orange, molten lava yolk like this anywhere outside Japan. It's a marvel.

8 / 10