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
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）
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,” 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
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.