Ramen at Menya Shono (麺や 庄の)

Ramen at Menya Shono (麺や 庄の)

at Menya Shouno (麺や 庄の) on 7 May 2019
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Recommended bowl: Creative master

Master Tomoharu Shono opened Menya Shono in 2005 when he was just 25 years old. Shono-san considers himself a "ramen creator," and he now owns and operates multiple ramen shops in Tokyo and overseas, each with an entirely different menu and concept. He is always striving to refine his technique to release more umami flavor and create better ramen. Menya Shono remains his flagship spot. It's the perfect place to get a taste of the new school ramen innovation that Tokyo is now famous for.

Since its debut back in '05, the menu has constantly evolved and changed. Every month, Shono-san creates a monthly special gentei ramen dish that is available for four weeks only, never to be served again. He says he has created well over 500 different ramen dishes since he first opened. Photos of hundreds of these limited-edition ramen dishes cover one of the walls inside Menya Shono. From tsukemen with truffles and caviar, to ramen topped with halved lobsters, some of the dishes are extreme. He has even created a chocolate lamb tsukemen for the month of February to celebrate Valentine's Day.

While the limited monthly offerings can be great, the regular menu at Menya Shono is solid and a safe bet no matter what. The standard recommended bowl is a rich tonkotsu-gyokai ramen with homemade noodles and artfully placed, decadent toppings — multiple styles of glistening chashu, menma, halved egg, negi, roasted onions, nori, and sesame seeds. Shono's bowls have an impressive punch and richness, yet they aren't overbearingly heavy or too rich — suitable for all types of eaters.

8 / 10