Hubert Hsu & Irene Kuo
Not far from Feng Chia University, there is a shop, Men Ramen, where they sell authentic Japanese ramen. If your stomach starts to growl late at night, you might want to try Men Ramen since they are open 10 pm to 2 am just for people who like midnight snacks.
Last month, after a late night of chatting with friends, we thought we’d try Men Ramen. The shop looked small, and its exterior was traditional Japanese style, with two big red lanterns hanging in front. There isn’t a parking lot, and there is a police station nearby, so you have to be careful where you put your scooter.
When we arrived, there were already people lining up outside. We quickly joined them. The waiter gave us the menu so that we could order before going in. After 15 minutes, it was our turn to enjoy real Japanese ramen. The space inside the shop was open, so there wasn't any air conditioning, only fans. All the furnishings in the shop were simple, and the lighting was dim. There were only 25 seats. It was a little crowded, and we weren't lucky enough to sit where we could see the ramen being cooked.
There are four items on the menu, ramen, rice, drinks, and additional side dishes. The ramen comes in four flavors, including 正油, miso, salty tonkotsu, and soy sauce tonkotsu. Teriyaki pork is the only flavor for the rice. If you are thirsty, there are three drinks that you can choose from, including beer, soda, and oolong tea. Moreover, if you would like to have much bigger meal than usual, you can order additional side items like eggs, soup, noodles, and pork.
We ordered miso and soy sauce tonkotsu ramen and then we shared. When the waiter brought our ramen, the first thing that came to mind was, “What awesome ingredients! It looks very delicious and smells great!” We had a nice first impression! The miso soup tasted good, and the soy sauce tonkotsu tasted a little bit salty but still good. If you feel that your ramen is too salty or mild, you can ask them to adjust the flavor of your soup. They also offer free garlic and sesame seeds so you can add seasonings to your taste. Both ramen dishes used the same noodles, which are very chewy. We can feel them springing back when you chew.
The portions were moderate, but it was enough to fill our stomachs. The most important thing was that it only cost NT$90 – total! That is very cheap for ramen. In addition to our ramen, we ordered Teriyaki pork rice. It looked like Taiwan’s traditional braised pork rice, but it had a stronger soy sauce and smelled like dried bonito. It was also salty. I thought the portion was a bit small; maybe it is suitable for people who just feel a little hungry. The price was also low, only NT$30. The service at Men Ramen is very good, too. They served our meal quickly and politely. However, the staff seldom smile at customers because they are concentrating on cooking and providing delicious ramen to their customers. We really enjoyed our meal and had a very good time here.
We came to Men Ramen because we had heard of it on the Internet. Now, we have tried it, and our curiosity has been satisfied. Next time you feel hungry in the middle of the night and want something delicious, we recommend that you go to Men Ramen and try their authentic Japanese ramen.
Address: 51 Xitun Road, Section 3, Taichung (across from the police station)
Tel: 0921 722 948
Prices : NT$ 70 - 90 (moderate)