Men Labo Hiro near Gakugei-Daigaku station serves sensational contemporary ramen. This shop has won multiple awards since it opened in 2016.
In their ramen, or “Tori Soba”, chicken plays a prominent role. The chicken collagen supplies just the right amount of richness to the broth. But the broth also has a hint of fish.
You can choose a saltier shoyu or a springier shio as a base. For either, a touch of mitsuba, capers, and yuzu citrus peels round everything out. Stunning and scrumptious.
The tsukemen broth is similar but tastes a bit stronger. You can also opt for shoyu or shio. Instead of yuzu citrus peels, the tsukemen comes with half a lime to squeeze.
You’re treated to not one, but three types of meat toppings: duck, chicken breast and a pork chashu that’s almost like cured ham.
What’s more is that both the ramen and tsukemen are served with raw aonori seaweed. I’ve never seen done this anywhere. The slippery aonori magically complements the broth and noodles and gives it all an oceanic feel.
The Shop Itself
Men Lab Hiro has a sleek interior that looks more like a stylish laboratory than a greasy ramen shop. This is why they call themselves a lab. “Men” is noodles, “labo” is lab and “Hiro” is this ramen shop’s creator.
It’s rumored that he used to work at a yakitori shop. I’m very glad he transitioned to ramen. You will be too; they’ll blow you away with their contemporary ramen. Just make sure you’re not taking photos of anything but the food. This is their only rule!