Friday, March 19, 2010

Shonoya: Ramen for Control Freaks

At Shonoya, you are master of your own bowl. Choose how hard or soft you like your noodles, how much oil you want in your broth. The usual toppings are there, as well as a counter full of condimentia: pureed garlic, ginger, chili paste, chili oil, sesame seeds in a grinder, and white pepper. The broth, which is strong enough to stand up to all the add-ins, is a soy sauce base with dried Bonita that gives it a rich, smoky flavor.

Ramen at lunch is tricky. Sure, everybody's doing it, but how productive are they when they get back to work after a big, hearty bowl? The construction workers presumably have noise, chemical fumes, and high scaffolding to wake them up. But what about the rest of us with non-hazardous jobs? I used to know a guy who perfected a method of sleeping in a bathroom stall at work that involved propping a spare roll of toilet paper up on the dispenser and leaning forward to use it as a pillow. He was not zooming up the corporate ladder.

Rather than resort to such methods, I have finally perfected my midday order: the chibi, or mini bowl, with extra spinach, ginger, a slice of roasted pork, and a seasoned boiled egg with a creamy, salty, jewel-like yolk. All the goodies, but half the noodles (chewy, wavy, substantial) and soup so that when I return to the office I won't just put my head down on the desk and sleep like a happy child.
Shonoya Ramen
2-7-30 Minamiazabu, Minato, Tokyo Prefecture 106-0047, Japan, tel:+81 3-5439-5277


  1. Oh, where was this little gem when we lived in TKY? I see you've been keeping things from me.

    I expect a post on the dan dan mien place!

  2. Right across the street from TUJ. I know that hurts. And there will be spicy.