Menya Ippou

Menya Ippou is a small ramen shop located smack in the center of Tamana city in Kumamoto Prefecture. If you happen to live near Tamana, run there!  Let’s say that you live 500 km away, well, you might want to plan a trip to beautiful Kumamoto.

I made a 30 km detour to have lunch there and drove twice in front of it without even noticing it.   By the time I sat at the counter, I was a bit cranky and hungry.

Luckily for me, we came in right in time to snatch the last two seats in this tiny shop. I was told by a local resident that the shop gets really busy and I should expect to wait outside.

First surprise.  English menu!!!

Page 2

We ordered a fried chicken lunch and a fried rice lunch which are only 650 yen.   After ordering, I realized that these menu didn’t come with ramen, so I ordered one Tonkotsu ramen to share.

The fried chicken came out first. It was just perfect.

The fried rice which I ordered blew us away. One of the best fried rice I had in a very long time. It looks like nothing, but the balances between the ingredients and the flavors were spot on. The set also came with gyoza, a small soup, a salad and a cold coffee.  Yes, all this for 650 yen.

The ramen came last.

The ramen was good, the soup is a very light tonkotsu.  The noodles were a bit soft for my taste, but an overall nice bowl of ramen. Apparently Tamana has it’s own variation on Hakata ramen. Don’t expect the powerfull punch and globules of fat flotting on top.

When we left the shop, the line in front of the shop had started.

I don’t know if this is the best place in Tamana.  If you have been to other good places, please let me know. I know that I will certainly visit it on my next visit to Kumamoto and order a fried rice and maybe try their tantanmen.

Menya Ippou

熊本県玉名市中1897-105 次郎長ビル 1F