Akihabara ramen shop Mendokoro Honda (麺処 ほん田) ticks all the boxes. The owner is somewhat of a prodigy, opening up his own ramen shop at the young age of 21.
Mendokoro Honda - The Darling of Akihabara
The owner at Mendokoro Honda, Honda-san, worked at renowned ramen shop Taishoken. But unlike other Taishoken padawans, he boldly ventured off at 21.
It's not every day that someone does this at such a young age in the ramen world. Naturally, Honda-san became a media darling. After Taishoken, he opened up his first ramen shop in Higashi-jujo, North Tokyo. It's still there.
But more recently he made Akihabara the location of their flagship ramen shop. This newer Tokyo location couldn't be more convenient. It's a stone's throw away from Akihabara station's train tracks.
Honda Ramen Offerings
Have no fear - the ticket machine has English too. Choose from the below ramen:
Shoyu (Soy Sauce) Ramen
Shoyu Tsukemen (Dipping Ramen)
Shio (Salt) Ramen
Owing to the location, the prices are a bit higher than what you'd normally pay in Tokyo. But they're still nothing like ramen prices in comparably large cities like NYC or London. Furthermore, you get a lot for what you pay. Honda doesn't skimp on anything.
The shoyu ramen (pictured with egg) is a chicken-leaning bowl with subtle hints of fish. The soup is well-balanced. Saltiness is followed by sweetness.
Even though this isn't the "extra meat" option, there's still plenty of meat. The slices of chicken and pork chashu are a real treat. One of the pork slices is roasted.
Rounding out the toppings are green negi (spring onions), and menma (bamboo shoots). But the show stopper might be the noodles. They're thin, fairly slippery, and are made with first-rate Hokkaido wheat flour.
I have yet to try the tsukemen (dipping ramen). They use different noodles and I'm told they're amazing.
A Little Wait
At Honda's newer location (under the Akihabara station tracks), do except to wait a little bit. The line can get long - but it moves quickly.
A lot of top-tier Tokyo ramen shops aren't normally this easy to get to. Take full advantage and cross Mendokoro Honda off your ramen list.