While some places have dabbled in sea bream ramen, Madai Ramen Mengyo (真鯛らーめん 麺魚) is often credited with perfecting it. This Tokyo ramen shop showcases sea bream fish like nowhere else can.
Mengyo - Sea Bream Ramen Perfection
Red sea bream (madai) has always been a well-revered fish in Japan. It’s one of the most delicious fish in the sea. But only recently has sea bream ramen become a thing.
We have Mengyo to thank for this. They’re inspired other ramen shops like Housenka. But their red sea bream ramen is still be the heavyweight champ.
At Mengyo, choose from the standard madai ramen or a richer one. In the standard, the broth is relatively light. But the deep flavor from the sea bream powerfully permeates the broth. A bit of yuzu adds further complexity.
Every bite is paradise. The slow cooked pork slices on top are paper thin and match up beautifully with little bits of singed red sea bream. When they’re pulled up with the noodles they create a wonderful smoky aroma.
Sea Bream Tsukemen
While the ramen is a must for first-timers, their tsukemen is great too. It has a saltier broth. It also has a leafier flavor, coming from the spinach toppings.
For both the ramen and tsukemen, free condiments include yuzu kosho, wasabi or raw ginger (nama shouga). Ask for any of them from the staff. I’m a big fan of adding yuzu kosho. It politely cuts through the red sea bream like a citrus encrusted knife.
The same thin noodles with wheat flecks are used in the tsukemen and beautifully pick up the broth.
Mengyo's flagship shop is in Kinshicho, a bustling commercial district in East Tokyo. But the last few year's they've aggressively expanded and now have a number of Tokyo locations. This includes Shibuya, Gotanda and Yoyogi-Uehara.
The flagship shop is most fun though.
In summary, if you’re going to have one fish ramen in Tokyo, Mengyo should be at the top of your list. Their red sea bream ramen will have you singing for days.
For Shinjuku’s best fish ramen shops, CLICK HERE.