St. Louis has a new Japanese noodle shop. Minya Roy Opening April 21 in Lindenwood Park in the space formerly occupied by F&B’s Eatery, it features homemade ramen, tsukmin (dipping noodles) and mazemen (gravy noodles) along with a selection of appetizers.
As I mentioned feast / feast In November, the concept came from owner chef Stephen Pursley, who launched his Ramen x Rui pop-up in 2018 after spending three years honing his skills at ramen shops in his mother’s hometown, Okinawa, as well as in Japan. The famous pop-up began in his apartment and later occurred in locations including The Benevolent King and Indo, where Borsley lit as a cook. With Menya Rui, whose name derives from the Japanese word for noodle shop, “menya,” as well as Pursley’s Japanese name, Rui, the rising star chef showcases the evolution of his culinary experiments with his first brick-and-mortar restaurant.
People also read…
After appearing at Indo and The Benevolent King, owner chef Steven Pursley is ready to get his own spot.
“It’s been a long journey and I’m excited to finally get myself out there,” Bursley says. “It has been very well received so far and I hope people will continue to swing with it.”
The casual restaurant is modeled after its Japanese counterparts, with dining only in a cozy rustic setting complete with bamboo ceilings and custom concrete tables made locally by AKT Studios. Classic Japanese decor adorns the walls, while the shop’s centerpiece – a noodle machine imported from Japan – can be seen through the factory’s reclaimed interior window.
According to Pursley, his noodles are made with three different types of flour with varying levels of protein, mixed in different proportions to achieve a desirable texture and chewiness. He explains that Kansui (lye water) is the signature ingredient in making ramen noodles, giving them unique water-resistant properties for signature dishes including bestselling pork shoyu ramen.
“Before moving to Japan, I was really stuck doing tonkotsu-style ramen with opaque bone broth, but the first store I worked at did something in a completely different style that I loved—clear chicken soup with served back fat floating on top. The sweet smell mixed with the broth. The salty soy flavor is very nostalgic and brings back memories of working there,” Bursley says.
From the farm to the kitchen, the restaurant is as good as the people behind it. As we approach the start of the new year, we raise the bar…
Minya Roi’s best-selling signature shoyu ramen features aromatic back fat with pork shoulder, menma (bamboo shoots), green onions and nori. Additional noodle soup options include chicken shoyu ramen, as well as tantanmen ramen, which Pursley describes as the Japanese interpretation of Chinese dan dan noodles with chili oil, sesame paste, ground pork, menma, green onions, and bean sprouts.
Made with thickened, cold-rinsed noodles, tsukmin comes with an intense scallop-flavored broth, topped with pork shoulder, menma, spring onions and kelp. Mazemen, or gravy-free noodles, which Pursley instructs diners to “mix and eat like Asian noodles,” also use thicker noodles. They’re available in tantanmen style or dipped in scallop and beet shoyu, topped with chasyu pork shoulder, menma, gyofun, nori, and bean sprouts.
Appetizer options include the house option – traditional rice pickle, vinegar, and miso-dressed cucumbers – and karaage, or Japanese fried chicken, which is served with lemon wedge and kyube mayonnaise. Liquor licensing is in the works, but for now, choose from canned green tea and bottled Fanta to pair with handcrafted pasta shop fare.
Minya Ruwi Hotel is open from Thursday to Sunday from 5 to 10 pm.
Minya Roy, 3453 Hampton Street, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.601.3524, facebook.com/menyaruistl