玉子つけ麺 - Tsukemen with Egg (Tonkotsu Gyokai) ￥850
I'm a little skeptical of the Nippori-Toneri Train line as I can see it from the street however I can't recall ever seeing a train here... Or hearing one for that matter. This branch of Mensaibo lurks in the shadows of the mysterious train line and is about 5 minutes from Nishi Nippori station on foot. The others are in Gotanda and Nakano.
A tricky ticket machine greeted me at the door where you must choose between the large or the regular service at the top left hand corner before making your selection. Perhaps it was this rookie error that led to the staff asking whether it was the first time I'd eaten tsukemen. Or maybe she was bored as customers were almost outnumbered by the staff during the usually busy lunch hour.
Tsukemen is anything but subtle, particularly tonkotsu gyokai and I would go so far as saying the soup here was one of the most overwhelming I've had. It may have been bursting with too much flavour much like audio clipping destroys the intricacies of a record at the expense of volume. It was a little too busy with a sweet yet sour, acidic aftertaste.
The hanjuku eggs were great too, with the outer edge of the yolk cooked slightly more than the central area delivering an almost crispy texture. I wish I could do this!
I didn't feel like finishing the soup but with the staff hovering around and wiping the same space on the counter directly in front of me over and over, I felt I had little choice.
Mensaibo is a pretty decent tsukemen shop and I certainly wouldn't rule out going there again, although that could be difficult when Tetsu is only 10 minutes away from here.