By Ignatius Koh
"Dad, can we go back to the ramen place with the pork?"
Well, you can guess my answer. My boy has picked up a craving for chashu pork and being a fan of ramen myself, saying yes wasn't all that difficult.
So off we went for a standard lunch in Japan - some ramen with extra servings of pork. The basic ramen bowl my son ordered goes for a miserly 650 yen while my tsukemen dipping ramen went for a very reasonable 850 yen. The extra pork dish was 210 yen. Nothing exorbitant here at all. Just decent prices and decent food.
Menya Always has a very modern interior design with a surprising amount of space. The communal dining table in the centre of the restaurant turned out to be our go-to place. Japanese customer service is usually a welcome feature of dining out and the staff at Menya Always were no exception. A bubbly 10 out of 10.
Now, when the chashu arrived, my son's eyes lit up. "Dad, it's so soft!" he exclaimed as he ate. And of course, it was. He gobbled up his serving, went through the pork side dish in a flash and yes, borrowed liberally from my bowl. The upside was that I got to eat most of his noodles and like mine, they were firm, just the way I like them.
Menya Always Ramen is no Michelin-starred restaurant, but fortunately it doesn't have to be. The food is good, the service cheerful and the prices gentle. You won't go wrong dining at Menya and if you do go with your kids, smile. The food they'll pinch off you has at least gone to a good cause.
Menya Always Ramen is on the 5th floor of AMU Plaza which is directly connected to JR Nagasaki Station. At most, a couple of minutes if the escalator is busy...
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A Japanese Permanent Resident, I drool over proper soba and sushi while Japanese aesthetics ticks all the right boxes for me.With over 100 published articles on Japan as well as 5 English language books written in a traditional Japanese style, I also happen enjoy writing. Funny that...I'm also the Regional Partner for Tokyo, Japan's never ending capital, so if you've anything to say about Tokyo - or Japan in general - don't be shy and contact with me via email@example.com