Menya Musashi Niten Ichiryu set to restore ramen to ramen-less Belmont Ave

With a mouthful of a name and an ALL CAPS laden press release, Japan’s Menya Musashi Niten Ichiryu is coming to Capitol Hill.

MENYA MUSASHI was founded by Takeshi Yamada in 1996. Similar to the world-renowned sword master Musashi Miyamoto who proclaimed “I practice many arts and abilities – all things with no teacher,” founder Mr. Yamada self-taught himself the art of making Ramen and established this Ramen restaurant. In respect of Musashi Miyamoto who created the unique two-sword style on his own, Mr. Yamada named his Ramen restaurant “MENYA MUSASHI.”

Menya Musashi currently has 14 restaurants in Japan, and reportedly has opened overseas locations in Singapore, Taiwan, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Ukraine. Its first North American location opened in Los Angeles in July. Reviews of the tsukemen restaurant so far are pretty solid with a few know it alls chiming in to say the LA version is “nothing like Japan.”


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Menya replaces, Tentenyu, a ramen joint with a similar pedigree that shuttered over the summer and left the auto row-boned restaurant space on the western edge of the AVA development empty. AVA Capitol Hill has carried quite a bit of empty commercial space over the years, by the way. A certain retail giant reportedly has its massive retail frontage on the E Pike side of the project tied up.

Menya, like Tentenyu and some of the other ramen players in the neighborhood, is part of a wave of openings around Seattle from U.S.-based subsidiaries of Japanese restaurant corporations. They bring their branding, menus, and concepts to the Hill — and sometimes they bring their Japanese-honed execution.

Speaking of execution, let’s get down to the core of the concept coming to Belmont. Menya Musashi is only the first part. The second? That’s the “two swords” — “Niten Ichiryu is a style of classical Japanese swordsmanship conceived by Musashi Miyamoto during his later years, where a longer sword in the right hand and a shorter sword in the left hand are both used,” we’re told.

Put it all together and you get Menya Musashi Niten Ichiryu:

The main menu of MENYA MUSASHI NITEN ICHIRYU follows the concept of “two-sword style”, featuring two categories of Japanese food, Noodles (Ramen or Tsukemen) and Tonkatsu. For each bowl of NITEN ICHIRYU Tsukemen and NITEN ICHIRYU Ramen, the noodles are topped with 2 large pieces of braised pork belly and Tonkatsu to create a feast in one bowl. The noodle soup is a combination of both pork bone broth and seafood. Customers can choose from a regular soup or a lighter soup for Tsukemen. Vegetable Ramen will also be available after the official grand opening.

Like we said, it’s a mouthful.

A grand opening is planned for November 9th with $3 bowls for the first 300 customers.

Menya Musashi Niten Ichiryu is slated to open at 1510 Belmont Ave in November. You can learn more at menyamusashi-seattle.us.

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6 thoughts on “Menya Musashi Niten Ichiryu set to restore ramen to ramen-less Belmont Ave

    • 1. Volume. Tokyoites come in to a ramen shop by their lonesome, order one thing, eat it, and leave. Seattleites linger. In much of Seattle, the “lunch rush” isn’t.

      2. Size. Many Tokyo ramen joints are barely larger than a cooking pot surrounded by a counter with stools. Seattle places are restaurant-sized with rent costs to match.

      3. More competition. Ramen is an everyday food in Japan, whereas good name-brand noodles are still a novelty and a luxury in the U.S.

      4. Broader range. Most of the shops that set up storefronts in the U.S. are premium brands in Japan. Most of Tokyo’s ramen joints are undistinguished and command lower prices.

  1. That makes sense. You have to wonder why nobody tries it here, because I think it would work. There’s absolutely a market for ramen that isn’t as high-end as the current offerings. The place would be packed.

    • We have Momiji, Suika, Tamari Bar, Gokan, Junkichi, and Ikina off the top of my head for non Ramen-focused Japanese food on the hill. I think we’re doing pretty well on that front.

      What I’d really like is more Korean and Vietnamese food.

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