Open since 1929, Manpuku (萬福) in Ginza is one of Tokyo’s oldest ramen restaurants. Curious what ramen tasted like in the 20s? Manpuku is your best bet!
Manpuku – Almost 100 Years of History
They started out as a food stall in the 1920s, eventually becoming a restaurant in 1929. They once served yoshoku (Japanese Western food). But somewhere down the line it became about Chinese food, and this included ramen.
What to Order – Chuukasoba
They still serve gyoza and various Chinese stir-fried dishes. But ordering their chuukasoba (ramen) is essential. It’s history concentrated in a bowl. The shoyu (soy sauce) seasoned broth is slightly sweet and simple tasting.
But it’s wholesome and while relatively light, has just enough syrupy richness from animal bones. They don’t use any fish in the broth – fish didn’t make its way into ramen until later.
The toppings are classic through and through – menma, negi, spinach, naturo, and firmer chashu pork. What stands out most is their bright yellow, trademark topping – a triangle shaped slice of egg omelette.
Lastly, the noodles are properly springy. After the chuukasoba, the second most popular dish is probably the “moyashi soba” (ramen with bean sprouts).
Cold Ramen for the Summer
Manpuku has fantastic cold ramen (hiyashi ramen) too – only served in the summer. Choose between sesame (goma) or soy sauce (shoyu) for the base. The sesame version is arranged like a longboat and the broth flavor is nutty.
In the soy sauce version, the nutty flavor is replaced with a lighter, less thick broth. Both are sweet though, likely from added sugar. This style of ramen is usually sweet.
In the soy sauce style, the toppings are set up more like a tent. Alongside the refreshing sliced cucumbers, egg omelet, and pork, there’s red pickled ginger (benishouga).
All of this, along with the spicy mustard (karashi) on the side, makes for a perfect summer ramen!
More on their cold ramen below!
Taste of History
The interior has a dark brown wood finish and a certain regal quality. You don’t find ramen shops like this nowadays.
They have both tables and counter seating.
Manpuku is sure to impress – ramen and setting. In glitsy Ginza, they glitter in their own way.