Nov. 01, 2018 UPDATE

Men-Bistro Nakano

- 麺ビストロ Nakano -
Creative French-style ramen
Men-Bistro Nakano is located just an eight-minute walk from Hankyu Karasuma Station. The restaurant’s specialty is its creative, French-style ramen, invented through a series of experiments by the shop owner, who previously managed a traditional French restaurant. The flavor and appearance of all of the ramen dishes served at Men-Bistro Nakano are quite different from the typical tonkotsu and shoyu ramen we are all familiar with, so you may be surprised at first. But a delicious dish is a delicious dish, and there is no question that these qualify. An array of ingredients are used that are not found in your typical ramen, including tomatoes, carrots, and celery. The ramen served at Men-Bistro Nakano is sure to pleasantly shatter any stereotypes you may have about what ramen is supposed to be. One of the great appeals of ramen has always been that its relatively short history as a cuisine has endowed it with a sense of freedom. In that respect, Men-Bistro Nakano is a cutting-edge and provocative ramen shop. The shop has the quaint, stylish interior of a Western-style restaurant and a warm atmosphere. A relatively large number of its customers tend to be women.
Tomato Trippa - 濃厚とまとトリッパ
Tomato Trippa - 濃厚とまとトリッパ / ¥900
Men-Bistro Nakano’s best-known specialty is the Tomato Trippa, an irresistible delight for tomato lovers. Trippa is a dish made using mainly honeycomb tripe (beef reticulum). To make this ramen, Men-Bistro Nakano interweaves that concept with a tomato-based soup. Honeycomb tripe typically has a peculiar flavor, so most people either love it or hate it. Here, however, perfect preparation eliminates any unpleasant taste, and the result is magnificent flavor and texture. Even people who usually dislike honeycomb tripe are sure to enjoy this dish. The curly noodles harmonize well with the thick tomato soup.
Shiro - 白(鶏魚介醤油)
Shiro - 白(鶏魚介醤油) / ¥750
Men-Bistro Nakano’s other specialty is their Shiro (Chicken, Seafood, Shoyu). This ramen broth is made blending seafood with chicken broth, and finishing it with a dark soy sauce. The soup is characterized by a faint aroma of seafood complementing a strong yet refined chicken dashi broth flavor. Commanding use of French cooking techniques—slowly simmering chicken bones and herbs with pot herbs—draws out only the best sweet and savory flavors, resulting in a soup that is light enough to drink right up, yet still somehow deep and rich. The roasted pork and marinated soft-boiled egg in the dish are also thoughtfully and gently seasoned, perfectly complementing the lightness of the ramen. If you like light-style ramen, we wholeheartedly recommend the Shiro.
Mélangez bien
3Let's Try!
Mélangez bien / ¥900
“Mélangez bien,” a French phrase meaning “mix well,” is a dish the Japanese would call ”Aemen”. ”Aemen” is a type of ramen that is eaten basically by putting noodles, sauce, and additional ingredients together without any soup. It is also sometimes called Mazesoba or Aburasoba. The dish only recently started becoming more common, and even many Japanese people are still unfamiliar with it. Men-Bistro Nakano’s Mélangez bien is a seafood flavored ”Aemen” with a little bit of a spicy kick. ”Aemen” is often perceived to have a “thrown-together” quality, but the excellent compatibility of the ingredients in the Mélangez bien and the refined taste of its seafood base makes it feel like anything but. The noodles are straight, medium-thick, vacuum-mixed noodles, served with herbed fried chicken, marinated soft-boiled egg, bamboo shoots, potato, scallions, and thinly sliced chili peppers.
Clams pilaf - あさりピラフ
4Let's Try!
Clams pilaf - あさりピラフ / ¥200
Seafood flavored rice pilaf with a generous quantity of clams. The wonderfully crisp texture of corn and carrots can be unconsciously habit-forming. The dish is somewhat lightly seasoned, but the clams themselves pack in a ton of flavor. It makes an excellent accompaniment to a bowl of Men-Bistro Nakano ramen, so we strongly recommend ordering them together.
How to Order

Order from the menus provided on every table. The staff generally does not speak English, but you should be able to communicate by looking at the menu and pointing to what you would like.  

- Order Tips -
Be aware that in general ramen cannot be ordered as a large serving. Additionally, value sets are available during lunchtime (12:00-14:30), so if you might not be satisfied with ramen only, you can add on items when you order. Rice Set: add rice and a mini dessert to any ramen for an additional ¥150 Bread Set: add bread and a mini dessert to any ramen for an additional ¥150 Clams Pilaf Set: add clams pilaf and a mini dessert to any ramen for an additional ¥250
3.6 food3.5 service3.8 atmosphere3.5
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
3.5 food3.5 service3.5 atmosphere3.5
I stumbled upon this ramen shop because it is close to where I work. I personally tend to go for a thick type tonkotsu ramen, but I found the Tomato Trippa here to be extraordinary. It goes against my usual taste, but I could not deny the quality of its flavors. You will probably want to try the Tomato Trippa on your first visit, but I also personally recommend the Shiro (Chicken, Seafood, Shoyu). It is not very well know yet, but for me its taste rivals or even surpasses the light-style Kyoto ramen served at many esteemed ramen shops. I have a feeling that this place is going to be very popular and hard to get into very soon, so I recommend going now while it is still somewhat undiscovered. Another advantage of this shop is that it is very centrally located in the Shijo-Karasuma area of Kyoto.
3.7 food3.5 service4.0 atmosphere3.5
Men-Bistro Nakano is a popular restaurant in the Karasuma area. Its noodle dishes created by a French cuisine chef are wonderful treats that you cannot find anywhere else. My personal recommendation, their Tomato Trippa, is something you absolutely have to taste. In addition to their great noodles, the restaurant also offers an extensive selection of a la carte dishes and alcoholic beverages. Enjoying a bowl of ramen after a glass of wine and appetizers is a unique experience you are unlikely to have anywhere else!
4.7 food5.0 service4.5 atmosphere4.5
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
United States of America
4.7 food5.0 service4.5 atmosphere4.5
Men-Bistro Nakano / 麺ビストロ Nakano
Category Ramen
Phone +81 75-241-0907
Address 1F, Matsuhiro Bld., 269, Nishinishikikojicho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, 604-8226
Directions 8-minute walk from Hankyu Karasuma Station.
Open Hours Tuesday~Saturday:11:30am - 3pm, 6pm - 10pm Sunday and holiday:11:30am - 3pm, 6pm - 9pm
Reservations No reservation
Closed Monday (Open on holidays, closed the day after)
Price range
- ¥1,000
Credit cards Not accepted
Good for Solo, With Friends
Overseas Tourist-Friendly
If you speak in very simple English, they will try to communicate with you.
Menu Basic English
Lanuages spoken Japanese only
Number of seats 20 seats
Private dining rooms Nothing
Non smoking / smoking Non smoking
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