Dotonbori Kamukura, a ramen chain restaurant from Osaka with 79 outlets in Kansai and Tokyo (as of October 2023), opened a new brand, Menya Doton, on June 30 this year. According to the restaurant’s website, “Dotonbori Kanza’s hidden gem Tsukemen, originally offered as a store-only menu item, has been brushed up and launched as a spin-off brand specializing in Tsukemen in order to offer a more particular taste. I had never had tsukemen from Kamukura before, but when I heard that it was a tsukemen specialty restaurant produced by Kamukura, I had to try it, didn’t I?
So, when I stopped by Namba the other day, I went to the new Tsukemen specialty restaurant, Menya Doton Dotonbori, in Dotonbori, one of the most popular shopping streets in Osaka. Are the tsukemen noodles made by that kamiza restaurant as light as ramen noodles, or do they make them rich in flavor in line with the current trend? I was curious even before I went…
Reusing the former first restaurant where Dotonbori Kamukura was born…Menya Doton Dotonbori Honten is such a restaurant
Menya Doton Dotonbori is located on the left side of the Sennichimae shopping street from the Namba Station side, heading north toward the Dotonbori River. The Dotonbori branch, which used to be the first branch of Dotonbori Kamukura, has been reused and used as a new restaurant. This has unfortunately eliminated the first Kamukura restaurant. But it is not a problem at all because Dotonbori Kamukura Sennichimae store is also operating on the other side of the narrow alley originally named “Kamukura Yokocho” and the store will remain as Kamukura.
I visited the restaurant at around 7:00 p.m., just after the peak of the dinner hour, and found that there was a steady line of customers lined up at the front of the two restaurants, while there was no line at Menya Doton. We were lucky to get in without waiting in line, but it was a bit discouraging. Perhaps it is because the fact that this restaurant is affiliated with Kamukura is not well known.
When we entered the restaurant, there were nine L-shaped counters surrounding the kitchen. There are also large tables on Kamukura Yokocho and seats on the second floor. According to Menya Doton Dotonbori has a total of 29 seats. The space inside the restaurant is compact, but the outside terrace seats a maximum of 12 people at a large table, which may be in anticipation of foreign tourists visiting in groups? So even if you are dragging a large suitcase or have small children with you, you can rest assured that this restaurant will be fine.
Special Tsukemen + Chashu Rice Set: The most popular menu item at Menya Doton Dotonbori, how does it taste?
This time I ordered the most popular menu item at Menya Doton Dotonbori, the special tsukemen and chashu rice set (priced at 1,470 yen including tax). After about 20 minutes of waiting, the tsukemen set arrived in front of me…
The noodles are topped with a large piece of chashu pork, a flavored egg, grilled seaweed, mizuna (potherb mustard), bamboo shoots, and yuzu peel. The dipping sauce, on the other hand, is filled with shredded pork and Chinese cabbage, as is typical of Dotonbori Kanza. The chashu rice in the back is lightly seared with a burner just before serving, lightly charring the shredded pork.
Now, let’s follow the instructions on how to eat it…
First, I slurp the noodles as they are… They are straight, medium-thin noodles with a smooth surface, and when you bite into them, they have a good firmness, and the rich aroma of wheat spreads toward your nose.
The dipping sauce for this is much more soy-saucey than that of Kamukura’s ramen. The tsukemen soup has just the right amount of flavor for drinking as soup. While the soy sauce is rather strong, the extract from the pork and Chinese cabbage gives it a sweetness that is typical of Kamukura. However…
When the noodles are dipped in this dipping sauce, the taste of the dipping sauce seems weaker. This is probably because the noodles are smooth and do not absorb much of the dipping sauce. To put it a little exaggeratedly, it feels like you are slurping noodles that have been warmed by the dipping sauce. The restaurant seems to have “aimed for a light tsukemen,” but I wonder if it is a little too light…
Since the dipping sauce is like that, you can enjoy the impact of the change in taste if you use the condiments on the noodles instead of in the dipping sauce. In addition to the four table-top seasonings (yuzu vinegar, grated garlic, fish powder, and soy bean sauce)…
If you ask the waiter, he will provide you with Hararyokaku‘s black shichimi. I didn’t know they have such a small pack of black shichimi. I learned a lot. But aside from that, black shichimi is still the best. Yuzu vinegar and fish powder also went well with this dipping sauce, but the black shichimi is a bit more special than the other two. Yuzu vinegar and fish powder were both well suited to this dipping sauce, but the all-purpose seasoning (?) black shichimi is a little too different.
First of all, a piece of low-cooked loin chashu pork and…
A half-boiled egg with a thick yolk is the twin of the two. Compared to the normal tsukemen, the addition of the boiled egg and pickled bamboo shoots does not seem like a bargain… The name “special” seems to stand alone. One more thing…
This chashu-meshi was left in the back of the kitchen for about 15 minutes… Finally, the surface of the thinly sliced chashu pork was seared with a burner and served on a tray with the tsukemen. Of course, I was happy to have it served with the tsukemen, but if it was left out for 15 minutes before that, I was a bit… Well, it tastes like “egg on rice (TKG) with roasted pork and savory flavor,” and as an extra bowl of rice, it’s just right in terms of volume.
This kind of special Tsukemen + Chashu rice at Menya Doton Doton Dotonbori Honten is not “bad” by any means, but honestly, I felt that my expectations were a little too high…. I could understand why there was a line at Kanza and no line at Dotonbori. Putting the taste aside, I would like to see them improve on the matter of leaving the chashu rice on the table. I understand that it is difficult to adjust the time, but since the tsukemen took a long time to cook, they could have served the chashu rice first…
Oh yes, and one more thing that caught my attention. At the Menya Doton Dotonbori main restaurant, you can pay your bill at the self-checkout located on the left side of the entrance. This self-checkout machine is very convenient as it accepts both credit cards and electronic money, but is it safe to leave it in such a place? Is it safe to leave it here? When I tried to pay, the previous customer’s tsukemen bill was left unpaid.
This self-checkout is located right next to the entrance, so someone with malicious intent could easily ○○○○ it. The waiter didn’t seem to be paying much attention to the cash register today, probably because he was busy. I thought to myself, “Why not just use a meal ticket system where you pay in advance?
Other Tsukemen menus at Menya Doton Dotonbori Honten (prices include tax)
- Tsukemen 890 yen
- Menma tsukemen 990 yen
- Boiled egg tsukemen (tsukemen with boiled egg): 1,020 yen
- Chashu tsukemen 1100 yen
- Special chashu tsukemen 1,330 yen
Spin-off brand specializing in tsukemen by Dotonbori Kamukura, will it expand nationwide? Access to Menya Doton Dotonbori Honten is a 6-minute walk from the nearest station, Namba Station on the Osaka Metro Midosuji Line.
Menya Doton Dotonbori, which was created as a spin-off brand specializing in tsukemen by Dotonbori Kamukura, but will this tsukemen specialty restaurant also expand nationwide? I have never had tsukemen from the store’s limited menu, so I can’t compare them, but if the taste is not that different, I honestly think “Why not just make it a regular menu item at Kamukura? If the taste is not that different from the limited menu, I feel like “Why not just have it on the regular menu at Kamukura? On the other hand, if the taste is different from the limited menu, I would like them to keep trying…what do you think about this? If you’ve had both! If you have tried both, please leave your impressions in the comment box below.
Now, here are the details of the restaurant. Check here for store data…
Menya Doton Dotonbori Out of 5.
Address: 1-7-2 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 542-0071
Phone number: 06-6926-8808
Business hours: 11:00-23:00
Closed: Open every day
Credit card payment: Accepted (PayPay and e-money are also accepted)
It is also a 6-minute walk from Nippombashi Station on the Osaka Metro Sakaisuji Line.
P.S. If you are looking for delicious ramen in Osaka, please stop by this article..