Koenji is not for want of ramen shops, however Kou Kei Menya (Emperor Chicken Noodle Shop) opened a few months back and is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood’s noodleverse. Small yet spacious, it seats six at the counter and four others at two deuces along the wall. The standard coin-op ticket machine is right inside the front door.
The master is Hiroshi Nozawa, and his bio (posted on the wall) states he did his ramen apprenticeship at the popular Yousuke Ramen in Nakano. However, the delicious thick ramen soup he serves up in three options (salt, shoyu, or spicy miso) is a creation all is own.
Gyoza is offered in two types: garlic or cabbage. The garlic is great and six pieces sell for JPY 400.