Menya Ishin (麺や維新) is praised for its chicken-centric shoyu ramen. This praise has included regular nods from Michelin. On a personal note, they serve one of my favorite bowls in Tokyo.
Michelin Guide Ramen?
Head chef Nagasaki-san had the aim of creating a chicken ramen you couldn’t get anywhere else. The result is a carefully crafted, complex ramen. Most importantly, it tastes like a slice of heaven.
I tend to like this style of shoyu (soy sauce) seasoned chicken ramen. It’s similar to Chukasoba Uemachi in Osaka or Sato in Sakura Shinmachi. They blend premium Hinai chicken with Nagoya Kochin chicken. But it doesn’t stop there.
The soup is also pork pork knuckles, Akadori Satsuma chicken bones, chicken wings and chicken feet, onions, Hidaka kelp, dried flying fish and saury, as well as mackerel, bonito and maguro flakes. The long list has a very specific order in terms of going into the soup.
Flavorful from Start to Finish
But despite the long list of ingredients, it doesn’t taste too busy. Deliciously sticky chicken oil clings to the top and at first, the soup’s flavor is sweet from the shoyu ( soy sauce).
But once you dig below, the sweetness dissipates and all the other ingredients come out to play. The soup is assisted by 2 shoyu – one from Gunma, the other from Wakayama.
Ramen Restoration in Meguro
“Ishin” means restoration. This is appropriate, as Menya Ishin always looks for improvement, tweaking the recipe from time to time.
For example, Nagasaki-san used to prepare the fish and chicken broths separately. He eventually combined them earlier in the process, allowing them to get to know each other.
Menya Ishin moved in 2013 to Meguro in Tokyo from their Yokohama location. Meguro was a bold choice, as the area is full of high-level ramen shops.
But Menya Ishin more than stacks up against the competition. I believe the Michelin Guide ramen got it right.