Thursday, February 27, 2014

みん亭 Mintei: dirty dancing

Can you imagine what the ramen would taste like in a shop that looks this old and dirty?

Mintei even received a reward for "dirty but delicious" restaurant. Sounds interesting.

Mintei is an old and cheap restaurant serving Chinese food. It's beloved by the locals of Shimokitazawa, having been in business for nearly 50 years. Most of the customers that came in were salarymen drinking and eating with their subordinates.

The wall was covered with autographs, but I couldn't recognize any since they were so old. But I did hear that Hiroto Komoto, the lead vocal of the legendary punk rock group The Blue Hearts, used to work here part-time.

"Ramen will save mankind"

We ordered gyoza…

…mapo ramen…

Mapo ramen (750yen)

…and the signature Edokko Ramen. Edo is the old name for Tokyo, and Edokko essentially means the "people of Tokyo."

Edokko ramen (650yen)

The noodles in both bowls are thin and smooth, and the Edokko Ramen is a sweet and simple shoyu. I'm not sure what is specifically "Edo" about this bowl, but it is topped with kimchi. This isn't extraordinary ramen by any means, but the atmosphere - despite its shabbiness - is strangely relaxing.

Mintei's cheap prices and substantial portions have grabbed the hearts of the locals of decades. This isn't a date spot, but the lesson is "don't judge a ramen shop by its crumbling exterior." Or something.

Tokyo, Setagaya-ku, Kitazawa 2-8-8
Closest stn: Shimokitazawa

Open from 1130am-1130pm (closed Mondays)


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