Menkoi Ramen House Menu

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Visit below restaurant in Columbia for healthy meals suggestion.

Visit below restaurant in Columbia for healthy meals suggestion.

  • Miwa B.

    I love this place! My husband's family lives in Columbia and Lexington area, so we come down here once or twice in a year. Originally born and grew up in Japan, I love ramen noodle and I should say, I grow up with. I live in Chicago and I start seeing many hip and sort of OK ramen shops there, I guess it's booming!? And here we are visiting town, getting bored with fried food... thanks to Yelp! I found this place. I had Tonkotsu, though I wanted to try Spicy noodle as I had to share with my 4-yr-o. We both enjoyed good broth and noodle. It's a real one! It really reminds me of good ramen shops back in Japan. Let me tell you... so many other places in Chicago serve you ramen noodle but they are mostly not good in my definition. They are more like... "fusion" or "made by somebody who think they know what they are doing but NOT". My daughter also had a rice ball. Again, this is very authentic way in Japan (Serving gyoza and/or rice ball hand in hand : ) and she loved it. I'll go back there again before we'll head back to North. And I'm very sure, we'll keep coming back to this place as long as they are here! For those, who like spicy but not too much... they have a very authentic Japanese hot pepper seasoning called "Hichimi" (means 7-flavor). It has not just hot chili in but also has black sesame and some other spices. Try this with either Miso or Tonkotsu ramen to spice up. It's not that hot like red crashed pepper or syracha but Hichimi would spice up and bring up more flavor of broth.

    (5)
  • Eric B.

    The ramen is very good which was surprising for me to find out in South Carolina, the prices were also reasonable and the staff friendly. Honestly this place would be a 5 in my book because it hits all the key items, however, when I later looked at my receipt I realized that they charged me .50 for a cup of tap water. I realize that they have to spend money for the cup, and that many jerk customers ask for water cups and steal soda. But it irks me when I get charged for a water cup, especially when I'm not told about the charge. I'm honest, I don't steal soda, and the cups don't cost .50. Charge .10, continue to make a profit over the cost of the cup and have happier customers who will want to come back more often.

    (3)
  • Emily E.

    Tried the beef curry and it had a great flavor. If I go again, I'll try the actual ramen. The rice ball didn't have a whole lot of flavor, but it wasn't bad. Their prices are very reasonable and service is very friendly and fast. Great for lunches during the work week. Check it out. Menu isn't long, but quality is good.

    (4)
  • N G.

    I was very excited to see this place. As a transplant from the bay area, I've missed good, authentic asian food. The ramen do not disappoint. Now I don't have to travel out of state to get good ramen. The noodles are fresh and broth is just right. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend you give it a shot.

    (4)
  • Chad N.

    Great little spot in Columbia. I drive all the way from Charleston to eat here.

    (4)
  • Aaron Z.

    This is really the only place in SC to get ramen, you will not find anything better in the state.

    (3)
  • Johnathon H.

    Ok, So first of all Keith man, get your facts right, I know that the Free Times posted they were open DAILY until 3 a.m. but that's actually incredibly wrong. Being the night shift worker that I am downtown I alas believed you both and went there for my lunch, they were not open. Here is a list of hours directly taken from their door. Lunch: 11 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Monday-Sunday Dinner: 5 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. Sunday-Thursday LATE NIGHTS 5 p.m. - 3 a.m. Fri. and Sat. They have the typical soda drinks, hot green tea, and I believe 8 ramen selections available. The highest item on the menu as of Aug 1st 2012 is $8.25. I believe that the food there is extremely good so please don't take my 4 star recommendation lightly I just don't know how to give 4 and a half. My one complaint is the lack of alcohol. For me to get the feel of a traditional ramen shop I need shochu or saki. Beyond that the food was awesome, I've been twice now to try a riceball and some of the spicy ramen and both were delicious. Bottom line, this place is good. You can order To Go and bring it home, its great if you have a cold with the spicy ramen to clean you right out and its got incredibly nice staff. I'd tell anyone that this is the best ramen I've had in South Carolina. So check it out and enjoy! Itadakimasu!

    (4)
  • Donnell S.

    Overrated. It's okay. Me and several other people in my group had to find a restroom immediately afterward or there was going to be a clean up on aisle 2. I think it's popular because there isn't much competition. There is definitely a lack of seating.

    (2)
  • Keith K.

    Been here twice since they opened a week ago. Menkoi currently (July 2012) serves a limited menu of about 10 different ramen soup bowls, all fairly traditional, as well as various rice / seaweed snacks - comfort drunk food, really. Soda fountain and green tea - no booze. While the ramen won't win any awards (yet) it is very tasty and filling and cheap - I think the most expensive thing on the menu is $8. I like it. There is much room for expansion of the selection, so I'll re-review later on. I must mention that Menkoi has hired my favoruiteist Columbia waitress, Yoko, formerly of a certain excellent sushi bar. She's always super happy and fun as well, like she spends her days watching Totoro in a magical treehouse while eating chocolate truffles. Maybe she does, who can say? Yoko and Menkoi are a wonderful new addition to the (sparse) late-night Columbia eats scene for the below reason: On Friday and Saturday, they are open till 3 AM. You are welcome. See you at the noodle shop.

    (4)
  • B E.

    Have been here twice and left thoroughly impressed both times! Outstanding ramen noodles (I went with spicy both times and while it did have a kick, it wasn't too much. I look forward to coming here again!

    (5)
  • Linda K.

    Good japanese ramen! The other ramens are good but my favorite is the spicy ramen. (It's not that spicy) I take off two stars because the portion is too small. It's not enough for me but that may just be my opinion.

    (3)
  • Xinling X.

    If you are looking for Japanese Ramen, I think this is the one. Though some of my friends don't like it as much as I do, I always order the vegetable Ramen with vegetable broth, I love it!!

    (5)
  • Stephen M.

    I find myself looking for excuses to go to the Vista at this point, mainly to grab a meal here. The Beef Curry has a great taste, much like Coco Ichibanya (but there are none of those on the east coast) but it is light on the beef sadly. The one thing I would change. The rice balls are great, I'm a sucker for umiboshi. :P I love the spicy ramen, and the creamy variants. I think they should add Mochi and a few deserts for people with a sweet tooth, but after 5 or so trips in a month, I'm sure I'll return again.

    (4)
  • Andy J.

    It looks like it's family owned and operated. The people working were extremely friendly. I had the spicy ramen which was delicious. Portion was large and only $7.50.

    (4)
  • Brian C.

    I ve been to this restaurant twice, it was great and tasty. I really like the food there, however, according to my Japanese girl friend, she didn't think the taste of the food is the same as Japan, but still a good place to go. However, I had upset stomach twice after eating at Menkoi, I don't know if it s coincident or not.

    (4)
  • Sean Y.

    Ramen shop in Columbia! No way! This place was a major surprise. The noodles were pretty good; not the freshest but tender and a little chewy. The broth was rich and good. It was a bit saltier than expected and it did not taste like it was from scratch. The spicy ramen was good! I would return here for sure. Cheap and delicious!

    (4)
  • Aubrey B.

    I really enjoyed my experience at Menkoi Ramen House. They are quick and friendly with their service...very helpful. The food is made right in front of you, so you can see how the chefs cook which is neat. The food itself is very good! Most people think of the prepackaged college dorm food when they hear about ramen...NOT THIS!!! This is hearty, Japanese comfort food at it's best. I definitely suggest checking this place out.

    (5)
  • Kel B.

    Went there for the first time last night with my bf - he got the beef curry (#10) and I got the spicy ramen (#4). I can't say the food is the best, but it is extremely filling... you get a TON of food. The beef curry was not that great - tasted like something you could just pour out a can onto some rice. BUT the ramen was prettyyyy tasty if you like very soft ramen. I personally love Nong Shim Shim Ramyun packaged noodles, and the Menkoi spicy ramen wasn't spicy at all, but it was still good. They do have vegetarian options; you have to be clear that you do not want the house broth, but the vegetable broth. But they do not have any alcohol, sadly. I give it 4 stars, not for the food, but for the atmosphere and staff as well as the late hours.

    (4)
  • Tamar B.

    I heard about this place before it was open. I was excited when it opened and I try to eat here every chance I can. They close at 2:30 because business get slow ( in other countries they close between lunch rush and dinner), but they don't turn you away if you rush in at 2:20 and you are not able to wait until 5:00 for them to open up again. The are very nice and quick. They don't have a liquor license but it's not a big deal. Their portion sizes are huge. They even serve rice balls with different fillings. I love taking those home to my mom. Their menu is small but they added a few new options. I usually get the spicy ramen. It isn't as spicy as it used to be but they can make it spicier if you ask them. Also if you want the vegetarian options it helps to TELL them. There is a sign that states the veggie ramen is made with the pork based broth unless other wise asked. The favors reminds me of what I had while I was in Japan. Don't expect a fancy place. It reminds me of some of the Asian restaurants overseas.

    (4)
  • Tanya M.

    So happy Columbia finally has a ramen place! This place is great! Yummy, fast, clean, friendly.

    (4)
  • Eddie B.

    Not sure what all the fuss is about. We dined on the Spicy Ramen, Beef Curry and Gyoza for an appetizer. Nice portion sizes. Granted, it is something different for the area and worth a shot. Just didn't appeal to my taste buds. Nothing fancy about the décor and ambience.

    (2)
  • Todd J.

    Finally a Ramen House in Columbia! If you don't like ramen (not the college kind), then this is the only option in town and it is pretty great. Super Friendly service, and delicious ramen. How can you go wrong.

    (5)
  • Linh W.

    Love the ramen. Just cannot believe this place is in Columbia, SC. The tonkotsu ramen rivals any on east coast at half the price of NYC.

    (5)
  • Phillip S.

    Amazing place for ur noodle needs! I personally go with the spicy noodle tis great and flavorful

    (5)
  • Jodi B.

    Disappointing. I had high expectations. I was super excited about the possibility of a noodle house in Columbia. I cringed a bit about the lack of alcohol and the styrofoam cups, but it was the lack of vegetarian options (and the slow service) that resulted in this less than positive review. Although I specifically requested vegetable broth, my ramen was delivered with a big chunk of pork. It took a lot less time for them to remake it, but the cabbage, bean sprouts and noodles was hardly worth the cost.

    (1)
  • Sean G.

    Genuine Japanese ramen has finally arrived in bulk in Columbia. The first bowl (of many in the future) I tried was delicious, hearty, and authentic. The atmosphere is comfortable and the staff friendly. I plan to work my way through the entire menu.

    (5)
  • Liz D.

    I had never head real ramen before my first trip to Menkoi and now I'm an addict! I first got the Spicy Ramen based on recommendations and it did not disappoint. The broth is so flavorful, I want to drink it! We also tried the salmon rice cake. Although the wrapper is a little intimidating, it is a tasty treat. Although the ambiance isn't anything fancy it is really nice and appropriate for the price point. I have been once for lunch and it was a very quick turn around: a great alternative to the sandwich shops downtown.

    (5)
  • Bridgette G.

    Darling Daughter and I tried Menkoi during Vista Lights this past week and I am a fan! I ordered the Spicy Ramen and she the Cha Shu Men (do I have that right?) and we sampled from each other's bowls. Both were very tasty! The Spicy Ramen is not too spicy, just right for most people who like spice but don't want their eyelids to sweat from the heat. We also ordered rice balls, salmon for DD and pickled plum for me. Both were yummy too.

    (4)
  • Ashley M.

    Went there last night to try it out. Fantastic. Soup was delicious. Boyfriend got the spicey ramen and ended up drinking the broth out of the bowl. Also got a rice ball, which was really good, especially if you dip it in your ramen broth. It does have a limited menu, but the simple menu still offers quite a bit. Decor is simple. I thought the price was good for the amount of food you get - I even took some home. Will definitely go back!

    (5)
  • Chawaratt G.

    I'm so delighted to found this Ramen joint. It was so good just like home food. Thank you

    (5)
  • Nannette P.

    They charged 50 cent for water. Really!!!! The ramen noodles are good. I was turned off by the 50 cents charge for water. Next time, I'll bring my own water.

    (3)
  • Brandon D.

    After seeing all the great reviews for this place, I decided to try it. It was a cold night, so it was perfect night for ramen. I had trouble deciding what I wanted the nice lady helped me make sense of the menu. I settled on the Cha shu men. Pork ramen in a soy based broth. It was about $10 for that and a cup of water. My ramen was cooked to order and server very hot. No forks that I saw, so be prepared to use chopsticks. I never used chopsticks before and I figured it our pretty quickly. The portion size was enough for me to have a dinner and lunch the next day. Overall I was very impressed with place, but I wished it had more seating.

    (5)
  • Sampson M.

    What can I say? If you enjoy ramen, this it! No need to even try anything else. Anytime you see a Menkoi Ramen House, I suggest you stop in and try it. My favorite is the spicy ramen with extra meat and extra egg.

    (5)
  • Dr. Brien W.

    This place is kinda OK, it would be even better if they got rid of the cook, he is very nasty! If you change your order you will see his nastiness come out quickly!! They really need to get rid of him, that's why I don't visit there anymore. He's bad for business. Follow up today, Follow Up Tuesday September 15, 2015 I spoke with the owner of this place, and he act as though he really didn't care. The people aren't friendly at all...and if you don't want your food to be ______ __ I would not visit this place again. Just saying!!!

    (1)
  • Laura C.

    Before going to Menkoi, I had never been to an actual Ramen house before. I was expecting something closer to the pre-packaged dry noodles that you get at the store, but definitely got a lot more than that. I ordered the No. 3, which was a pork-based broth with noodles, pork and vegetables. The portions are gigantic. It's a big bowl of soup. But....it is soup. My lunch (a giant bowl of soup and a regular drink) came to about $12, which is pricy for lunch -- and really pricy for soup that doesn't come with some sort of side item. The food was really good, but I had to give it four stars, mostly for price.

    (4)
  • Matt H.

    I know... When I think of ramen, it's usually by the $0.25 bulk pack. So in one of my (sorry mom) drunken stoopers, I trotted off to this new location. Asked for their best dish, got the spicy ramen. And WOW! Best ramen I've ever had. Just today I went back and had the same dish (yes mom) sober. Still great! No adult beverages here... But that's probably a good thing. Need to hydrate every 14 days or so. I'll have to try something new... But why? It's so good!!

    (4)
  • Lauren T.

    This is by far one of my favorite places in Columbia. It's almost a weekly staple, I've traveled a lot and this is by far the best tasting ramen I've had. Always go with Spicy Ramen, I do extra egg and bean sprouts. I also love shumai, rice balls, and the cold noodles. If you haven't been, do yourself a favor.

    (5)
  • Mike W.

    Perhaps I have very high expectations for ramen, having dined at Gainesville, Florida's exceptional Crane Ramen, but I found Menkoi in several regards to fall a bit short. The space is large enough and not fancy--which is fine for ramen, while Crane and some trendy ramen joints in America are high-gloss, traditionally ramen is a simple comfort food and shops selling it are low on fanfare. Still, if the restaurant isn't very busy, it feels just every so slightly depressing and forlorn. The space is long, narrow, and a bit dim. The staff are friendly though and the menu, for a ramen house, is appropriate and features all the expected varieties of ramen. The quality however I found lacking in a couple regards. For one, while they also sell shumai and gyoza, I asked if these dumplings are made in-house and the girl at the counter admitted, no, they are purchased frozen and steamed or fried. So, you're getting exactly what you could buy at an Asian grocery yourself from its freezer and take home to cook but at a restaurant. I find that disappointing: food in a restaurant I feel should be made in the restaurant in nearly all cases, and should not be frozen. And frozen shumai tends to be soggy when steamed in my experience, too. Then there is the ramen itself. My shoyu ramen had in general the right taste but the noodles were too thick and the pork was a very meager portion. The onions were too few in number and although the shoyu flavor was there, it seemed meek somehow, though perfectly salty. Again, to be fair, ramen sold at simple shops late in the night in Tokyo on average probably is no better, but having had the fruits of the recent American trend in gourmet ramen, I expect fresh, sharp, and very flavorful ramen, I suppose. Menkoi is probably fine to get a bite to eat after the clubs and they do stay open into the wee hours on weekends, so there is that, but compared to ramen I've had elsewhere it doesn't really stack up.

    (3)
  • Lannae L.

    This place is ok. My ramen broth still had granular beef/pork soup flavoring base on top. The pork slices were a little too big and thick to contend with. The noodles were fine. The shu mai were frozen out of a box and then microwaved for a minute in front of my eyes. Microwaved shu mai become gummy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and get cold from the middle to outside quickly. The shu mai were $6.75 for 6. You are better off going to an Asian Market and getting a whole frozen bag of dumplings for $3.99 and making them at home.

    (3)
  • Victor L.

    I know the word "Ramen" elicits cheap $0.10 packs of dry noodles and seasoning packets, but this place is not that. It's quite a step up from your stereotypical college ramen. I had the Tonkotsu Ramen and it was great! Pork in a pork based soup with an egg and noodles and veggies. It's in a nice little spot also called The Vista, where other nice restaurants are around. It's a casual sit-in or take-out type place, so you order at the register and then take a seat waiting for your delicious ramen to be brought out to you. And you get a huge bowl for about $7.50! Loved it, can't wait to go back again!

    (5)
  • Anna L.

    Decided to give it a try seeing that the ratings for this place was pretty good... Boy was I disappointed.. Ordered spicy miso ramen Ramen wasn't good, broth was horrible, pork was opposite of tender soft and tasty ( I even ordered extra although you can't tell..) gyoza was cold Maybe SC doesn't know what a good ramen is suppose to taste like.

    (1)
  • Will C.

    Back home in New England and New York City these ramen type shops are popping up all over the place. My last ramen visit was in uber hipster Brooklyn and even here in South Carolina the feeling is similar. The cashier was fitted with dreads which struck the first note of familiarity but it didn't end there. The seating could be more thoughtfully done but it works for the order at the counter and we'll serve you type of restaurant that it is. The food was just as good as I had in Brooklyn. The broth was more opaque, more nutty and less soy saucy but I think all of those differences are good. The curry was good too, though the stew beef could have been more moist. Good place, particularly since its open so late. I'm just not on the Ramen train as hard as others might be.

    (4)
  • Kelly T.

    First time come to this place. I thought it's original Japanese ppl making ramen noodles soup, when we get in to order, it's not really original. But anyways, soup noodles is good, but the pork meat is too thick. And for the Salmon rice rolls - too much rice very less salmon and no taste at all.

    (3)
  • Tejas P.

    I love this place. I usually have veg ramen spicy or chciken ramen. Not many options for veg people. Service is fast. The bowl is big and sometimes difficult to finish alone.

    (4)
  • Mika W.

    We happened upon this place while we were in town and hungry. This was a decent place for what it was, and you get exactly what you came for...ramen! I had the spicy ramen and it was just spicy enough to enjoy! Fairly large portion and I couldn't finish it all. Prices were fair and the young lady at the register was really sweet! Overall a good experience and good food.

    (3)
  • Jessica B.

    Love it! Fresh Ramen noodles and the seaweed balls are just like grandma used to make.

    (5)
  • Robert V.

    This was my first time trying a ramen house, and I really liked it! The woman who took my order was friendly and helpful; she actually discouraged my normal instinct to add extras and recommended I first try the dish as is. I ordered the spicy pork ramen, which had an excellent flavor and a bit of a kick! The bowls are large, but next time I will order extra meat and veggies!

    (4)
  • Kim T.

    My husband and I stopped by this cute little ramen house for lunch. Service was fast and friendly in the casual environment. You order and pay at the counter and seat yourself where they bring your food to you. I ordered the number 1 special, Cha Su Men while my husband ordered the spicy ramen. We also split an order of gyoza. The food came out reasonably fast and everything was very tasty. I'll definitely be ordering the gyoza again but I personally preferred the spicy ramen over the cha su men. The cha su men was good but it didn't have nearly as much flavor as the spicy but they keep a shaker of ramen seasoning at the tables (it has pepper, onion, and garlic) that gave my soup the kick I was looking for. All in all, I will definitely be coming back to try some of their other menu items. Their menu isn't large but whatever they do, they seem to do well.

    (4)
  • Kristi M.

    Simple casual place. I ordered the Spicy and it was delicious. The pork ramen #3 also great. For my kids we ordered the ramen with chicken and told them nothing else. Just chicken, broth and ramen. The happily accommodated the request. So glad we ordered 2 orders of Gyoza because it was some of the best we've ever had. Tender, seared on the edges and flavorful filling. I am a fan!

    (4)
  • Brian A.

    Don't you just hate when you want to love a place...but you just can't? Maybe it was the fishy tasting pork broth...maybe I just didn't know what to expect. I did some serious scanning of my compatriots and the other clientele for signs that everyone was just pretending to love the food. Maybe this place was for a bunch of hipsters that had to out hipster each other. Maybe my mustache wasn't waxed properly, maybe my Miller Lite wasn't PBR enough, and maybe my skinny jeans weren't actually skinny jeans (maybe I'm just too fat). I'm not sure...but I wasn't impressed. I think the decor and service were great. I enjoyed the trip, but found myself longing for my original haunts in Cola. This place didn't cut it in the taste department. I'm sure it's just my taste buds...since my other "hip" friends spent the night out "hipping" each other about the food. Maybe I'm just mad that I spilled on and stained my ironic neon green kitty cat shirt that says woof. Whatever...I'm indifferent...

    (3)
  • Barbara W.

    A good, tasty bowl of ramen. Although the menu is limited to a few varieties of (no surprise) ramen, and a handful of appetizers, I enjoyed everything I sampled. I really liked the pot sticker appetizer, which were a good balance of wrap and filling. I agree with other reviewers that they could benefit from adding more meat and veggies to the bowls, and the spicy ramen was good but not terribly spicy. If you're craving a big bowl of yummy brothy noodles, look no further. Definitely worth a stop.

    (3)
  • Monique G.

    The only experience I had prior to trying this place was packaged ramen noodles...this business makes exceptional food!!! I can't wait to return!

    (5)
  • William M.

    In town for a training seminar and went here based on prior reviews. Thanks for them because I found a great place for something a bit different, inexpensive and plenty to eat! It was a wee bit strange to have a lady with an Eastern European accent take my order in a noodle house but the food was excellent. I recommend this spot.

    (4)
  • Crystal C.

    The only place to get for-real ramen. The other reviewers here who declare the spicy ramen as a religious experience... not kidding at all. I kind of wish I could get it with chicken or beef instead, but honestly I've just never asked. Its spicy, but not hot spicy. Kids may find all the excess "weird," but they are so awesome about customizing ramen however you wish. The onigiri is wonderful, my favorite the pickled plum. My kid loves the salmon. Just do not go on the weekend or anytime when there is any event or attraction going on in the Vista because you will never find parking. It kind of sucks when you get a hankering for ramen on a Friday night.

    (4)
  • Huntting B.

    For the food itself it was a 3 star place, but you've gotta consider a few things. 1) its open late 2) the ramen was cooked well 3) It's Columbia and it's Ramen!

    (4)
  • Alex P.

    Very simple and cheap ramen place. Good noodles but nothing special. It's order at the counter and seat yourself type. There's only a few options on the menu. I've had the soy sauce based broth, and it hasn't let me down. If you're looking for ramen, this is the only shop in Columbia, and it's pretty good.

    (3)
  • Anna L.

    My first ramen experience in Columbia! I'm from Japan so I know what's good and what's not. This place was pretty good, although the char siu was kind of hard and chewy the soup warmed me up and it was definitely a taste of home. The people are really friendly too. I'd come back for some ramen!

    (4)
  • Adam B. J.

    If you're thinking this is anything like your dorm room delite, you are way off! These delicious noodles are served in a delicious rich miso broth. The meat is not the star of the dish. I like the veggie ramen in the spicy pork miso. Limited menu, but you really don't need anymore! Best on a cold day or when you have a cold! LOVE this place!

    (5)
  • Jennifer B.

    I had the beef curry and my friend had the ramen with the pork and a rice ball. It was delicious. The meat was very tender and flavorful. I will definitely be back!

    (5)
  • Skoot E.

    If you've never had real Japanese Ramen (I'm not talking about the 10-cent packages of noodles you ate in college) then you absolutely MUST try it! I've told many friends about this place and the ones who have never had real ramen always say "that's expensive for just a bowl of ramen noodles" (because they're basically thinking about "cup-o-noodle.") But every one of them has become a convert after I took them here. One of the things I missed most about living in Hawaii and going to Japan all the time is a good bowl of Ramen. My wife and I were so excited when this place opened a while back and still go there quite often (she gets to go more than I because she works downtown... I'm super-jealous of this.) I always get the Spicy Ramen. I've tried the others and they're all really great, but the Spicy Ramen is just amazing. I'm a chili-head, so it's not very spicy to me but the flavoring is delicious. Perfect on a cold (for Columbia) winter's day.

    (5)
  • Elyn B.

    Menkoi has real-deal ramen. My absolute favorite kind is the spicy and I can never resist ordering shumai to go with it. The shumai are out of this world to the point that I'd probably still eat here if that was the only thing on the menu. It is counter service so nothing too special there. I feel like my food usually comes out pretty promptly, though. I tend to eat here at off-peak times since they stay open late so I can't attest to service at more congested periods.

    (4)
  • Fiona Jane O.

    This is one of my favorite places to eat in Columbia. Honestly, I would give it 3.5 stars, but I really enjoyed eating the different menu options, so I guess I'll round up. My go to was the Spicy Ramen. It wasn't supppperrrrr Spicy but had a nice kick. The broth wasn't the best I've had, but it was really tasty all the same. I grew up in Japan, so I'm a bit of a snob. But for Columbia, SC, it's not bad at all! I used to love when I could speak in Japanese to lady behind the counter, but it seems I can never catch her. Service here is splotchy, it depends who is in. But the good news is that you can definitely eat here under 30 minutes during lunch time. The gyoza is tasty and I recommend the cold ramen noodles for a change up! I enjoyed taking my coworkers here. They loved the beef curry, but I was always eating all the ramen.

    (4)
  • Austin M.

    Some friends and I came here after an awesome night out. Everyone working here was very friendly and the service was quick. Our appetizers came out quickly and there was just enough time to enjoy them before the ramen came. I got the gyoza which was steamed and slightly grilled after. It was a great difference from the normal gyoza experience. The ramen was deliciously hot and had a fantastic flavor to it that wasn't overpowering. This place is definitely on my list to come back to!

    (4)
  • Rick T.

    This place has other items other noodles here, sometimes I just come here for to go food such as salmon rice balls and some sweet tofu wrapped rice is delicious. These items only take a few minutes t prepare for you. When your finishing your night of strong ales this may be a little better for you than the greasy pizza or fries!

    (5)
  • Josephine A.

    Came here for lunch today and it was a pleasant surprise. Rated against what I know is a 5 star ramen house, I would probably only give this place a 2 star rating. But we're in the south and this is probably one of the better Asian restaurants and the price isn't inflated because of that. The noodles weren't the perfect consistency and the pork was over salted. If you're looking for a ramen fix, come here!

    (4)
  • Alegra H.

    Great flavors. I had the spicy ramen and it was indeed spicy. The place is quite quaint. We got here right at 1150 and it was pretty dead, but by 1220.it was booming with people. They are rather fast which I am not use to for Ramen. But it is good no doubt. Diamond on the ruff, glad Columbia had authentic Ramen.

    (4)
  • Julie D.

    Had the tonkatsu ramen which was delicious but it was kind of disappointing to see that they only give you 2 small pieces of meat and half an egg. The atmosphere is clean and is located downtown so parking was hard to find. Overall 3 stars BC of the price for what you pay for.. Basically the only ramen place around town that is decent... Chicago definitely beats any ramen place I've tried yet..

    (3)
  • RJ A.

    I'm very happy Columbia has a ramen shop. I always get the spicy ramen which has the most perfect broth. The egg included is very delicious. On days I want to splurge I get the salmon rice ball which is always warm and the nori paper isn't too soggy. This is a perfect quick eats place but quality. It's small so you might be weary with large groups.

    (5)
  • W T.

    AWESOME spicy ramen. I know that noodles are the whole point, but I had it without them my 2nd time and liked it much better. Soup still feels full and balanced with flavor when it only includes the 'toppings', and everything's optional. This place is fast and delicious. Perfect for a quick meal to carry home on a cold evening.

    (4)
  • Jason N.

    my girlfriend and I had a real craving for noodles. so off we went searching and found MenKoi Ramen House. At first glance, I was a touch skeptical about finding even just decent ramen in the south. I dont think alot of people are accustomed to the Nuance of a good Ramen.. there is alot going on in a bowl, from the noodles themselves, to the acoutramount that goes with it. its about layers of flavor underneath a well developed broth. its far from the Bag of Top Ramen at the store. Menkoi does Ramen ... and it does Ramen pretty darn well. the Broth base is good and the noodles are above average for sure. Depending on what you decide to do with your broth, whether is Miso or Tonkotu, Vegatable, or Soy, you are going to get a very good bowl. The down side of Menkoi is generally the seating as it would be nice to have something a bit more comfy like booths.. but its hard to say whether this could be accomplished in a limited space like they have. the Ordering system also seems a bit disjointed as you walk in.. I was confused as to whether I had to order first before I sat down? or whether I should have been seated first. I think since I've been there more than once now, I think I see the system in place.. but for the new customers, they may not be sure whether they have to order first or not.. this is somewhat confusing also based on the layout of the establishment.. space conservation since it is located in between thin and shallow buildings. Seating numbers also seem to top out at like 25-30, not terrible.. but I havent been there and seen a line standing outside yet.. but that would be interesting. wait service is limited since you can help yourself to drink refills.. and since there isnt too much else on the menu besides small appetizers and Ramen.. it just kind of works out for what it is. I definitely recommend Mekoi for Good Ramen.. just go there knowing its not a full service restaurant over say more of a bistro or Ramen Cafe lol, but I dont think you will be that dissapointed.

    (4)
  • Maria M.

    Drive through from Phoenix , this place was worth the stop! Salmon rice ball reminded me of Japan:-) thanks Yelpers! Updated.

    (5)
  • Simon T.

    Shameful curry rice. Heated up Golden Curry from a box. Weak. Sad.

    (2)
  • Dee A.

    I love this place. It has the best shrimp shu mai I've ever had anywhere. Its fresh, tender and I could eat it everyday. I also love the soup. I've tried to order something else but end up with the spicy ramen every time. Everything about it is satisfying and awesome. I could drink the spicy broth with a straw. The noodles are tender and the nori and fish cake are a nice touch for each bowl. Easily one of my favorite places in Columbia.

    (4)
  • Angel N.

    Hole in the wall that hit the spot so good after a ton of heavy fancy business dinners. Beef curry was great but needs more meat. Love the chicken ramen but needs more chicken. I got 2 extras. Love the Tonkotsu but needs more chashu. We got 2 extras. And 2 extra eggs. An "egg" here means half an egg fyi... We also got gyoza and Onigiri both great!

    (4)
  • Josh H.

    Love this place when the mood for warm, flavorful ramen and dumplings comes over me. I almost always get the spicy ramen and gyoza dumplings. Always good and friendly service to go along with yummy the food.

    (5)
  • Ashley H.

    Spicy ramen is the way to go. It's fast, delicious and very filling. I like that it's inexpensive too. I always hop over after a night at Art Bar, across the street. I too would like to see more meat/veggies in the soup as others have voiced, but other than that- no complaints! The shumai is also delicious.

    (4)
  • Ramon S.

    Pros: inexpensive, tasty, quick service Cons: skimpy on meat, could use more veggies Great place for lunch when you want something quick and not too heavy. As a three year resident from Japan, I guess I was expecting similar quality and flavor. The Pho Viet Restaurant still has the best noodles I have tried so far.

    (2)
  • Christopher K.

    This review is from the perspective of a Vegetarian and Vegan. This is essentially ramen soup as fast food. Very typical for other cities with large Asian populations but rare in the deep south. A vegetarian ramen dish is on the menu, but be sure to ask for the vegetarian soup stock with it, sometimes I have been served their standard soup meat stock with my vegetarian ramen order. I would also suggest trying the rice stuffed with pickled plum and wrapped with seaweed. I have two gripes with this place. First, they do not offer free tap water. You can get a cup, but that cup costs you the same as fountain soda. Second, a dollar to make my soup spicy is expensive. That should be a free option. Overall the business is clean and the food is fresh.

    (4)
  • Stephanie K.

    Very tasty! I just moved here and was looking for someplace to eat when this place popped up. I went at lunchtime and it was slow. I ordered spicy ramen to go. It came out quickly and I was on my way. The soup was wonderful and rich. The noodles were cooked perfectly and all the little additions were perfect. I loved it all. I can't wait to go back again!

    (5)
  • Sarah A.

    My roommates and I love it here! It's pricy but it is very very worth it! Go go go!!

    (5)
  • Amanda L.

    Legit spicy ramen. Luscious broth and chewy alkaline noodles. I will definitely be back!

    (5)
  • Becky E.

    I really enjoy this place. I can't get enough of the spicy ramen! I've already filled out one of their customer loyalty cards and I'm about to start a new one! I work in the vista, so this is an easy and yummy lunch option for me. I'm only giving this 4 stars because, although the food is good and flavorful, the menu is limited and the ramen is much better than their other items. Also, I've been to better ramen houses outside of the state, but this is a great little start for Columbia! One final note: I love that they stay open until 3 on weekends!

    (4)
  • Brittany W.

    this place was phenomenal. i got the salmon onigiri and two soups. very delicious. its a place im craving to go back to

    (5)
  • David L.

    Great food, service and price. Limited seating.....but if you can get in and seated it is well worth it.

    (5)
  • Jeff D.

    My family and I went to the Ramen House for the first time today. The food was amazing, great price and great broth.. We will definitely go again the service was excellent.

    (5)
  • Nancy N.

    I found Menkoi on yelp as we were cruising to the state fair. We were looking for something soothing for the stomach and ramen sounded like the perfect fit! I ordered the Spicy Ramen. The broth was delicious, but I expected a richer red for the broth. It is suppose to be "spicy" ramen anyway. I also expected more variety of seaweed since Spicy Ramen is suppose to be the most "deluxe" form of ramen - on their menu anyway. We also ordered Beef Curry. The curry was very thick and dense, much like what you would find in processed cans/boxes at Asian markets. My advice: STICK WITH RAMEN! Overall, reasonable prices & decent ramen. The quality/presentation is no where near in comparison to the other ramen places I've tried, but it's much better than any fast food stops.

    (3)
  • Hailey B.

    So yummy! I ordered the Miso Ramen and made it spicy, my boyfriend ordered the Spicy Ramen. It was so good! The broth was silky and spicy but not overwhelmingly so. The noodles where like normal ramen noodles from a pack, though the fridge with fresh noodles in it claimed otherwise. We also had the shrimp shumai which where tasty. The atmosphere was quiet, though the group of hipster high school girls was a little loud. The only down side was the obnoxious little boy (young school age probably about 6 or 7) that walked in and was being horribly loud and disruptive. His mother I guess works there / possibly owns it and did not reprimand him. Granola mothering at its best.

    (5)
  • Josh M.

    Quick, easy, and delicious. Friendly reminder, they close the kitchen 30 minutes before posted closing hours.

    (5)
  • Stephen S.

    Great food, great price. Open late, for the late night munchies. The menu is small, but great foodies don't need the large over bearing menu's. We knew exactly what we wanted even though the kids were skeptical. Once they tried it they were hooked. We all left happy campers. My only suggestion to the restaurant is to offer fresh limes to add to the juice of the soup. But that's probably the Baja in me doing the talking. We loved it and plan on coming back next time we're in Columbia.

    (4)
  • Ellen A.

    I was really looking forward to a ramen house (note: this is *not* a noodle house; only ramen here) that was close by at reasonable prices. Unfortunately, there were a few things here that left a bad taste in my mouth (oy). First, the veg option was the same price as the meat options, which means either the meat is cheap or I'm getting ripped off. Considering the veg option was literally the meat soup without the meat - no added vegetables or even tofu - it was /at least/ a rip off. Then, we asked for "spicy" and were charged (without notice) an extra dollar each. Again, this is for the same spicy soup served at a lower price and minus the beef. Then we were charged .55 cents each for a cup of water. It's not much, but,again, we weren't told and, come on, spring for the cheap styrofoam cup if you're a restaurant. The food itself was good, flavorful, and spicy. But for a bowl of ramen with a dash of veggies, it's just not that impressive and nothing I couldn't have easily done at home. For the price and the quality of the veggie soup, I just don't see myself coming back here. I'm teetering on a 2 star, since I won't be back, but I'm feeling generous and the food was not bad at all (just skimpy), so a "3" it is.

    (3)
  • Anita C.

    Thanks to yelp I found this place and decided to try it out for lunch today. This has to be a stop for anyone who loves ramen, an inexpensive meal and just flavorful food. Had the cha siu ramen and for the price you get a great portion of noodles and a abundant amount of pork to accommodate it. The pork is really flavorful, think of it as the best pork you've had then take it up a notch and added with the great broth others have mentioned it is just a winning combination.

    (5)
  • Alice W.

    I've been here a few times & they have decent ramen though I find myself wishing it had more flavor, or thicker noodles. Overall though it's a decent portion of ramen for the price & I've enjoyed the spicy ramen every time I have had it.

    (4)
  • Grace M.

    Yum! This place has great ramen. I love their spicy ramen (extra spicy by request). The staff is friendly and the service is fast. The prices are great too!

    (5)
  • Steve J.

    Spicy ramen is oishi! Will be back to try some of the other selections. The place has some nice character, as well. Parking is off the street and around the corner.

    (4)
  • Nichole M.

    Came here while passing through Columbia with my family of four. Hubby and I read over the reviews and decided this would be a great place to stop for a quick bite. Since our youngest was coming down with a cold we opted for the spicy ramen soup and to rice balls once am in the other pickled plum. Just like the reviews said the servings worse huge we all could actually eaten from 1 large bowl the servant for however we order to spicy ramen split it with the girls and were full not too stuffed that felt really good. Overall this was a fantastic find can't wait to locate a noodle house in Atlanta. Try this place if you like ramen noodles or soup of any kind opt for that matter. By the way we don't do pork, and they were out of beef broth so we decided to go with chicken broth as an alternative.

    (4)
  • Maja M.

    To my surprise after returning to Columbia after living in the DMV area I noticed a ramen shop. I was excited to see that Columbia's Asian food market has gotten better. There is even a Boba place here now as well. So, I decided to stop by today after hearing good things. The decor is nice, a bit minimalistic. I got he spicy ramen & inari. The broth is crazy delicious. Not really spicy to me, but I tend to like really really spicy food. The noodles were the perfect size, texture, & chewiness. The pieces of pork are flavorful and tender. I really really enjoyed it, and they give you such a large portion that you can eat off it twice which is great being that it only cost $7.50 This was my 1st time trying inari. It had a good flavor, but I am not a huge fan of a lot of tofu. I like it, just not too much of it. So, while it was tasty I did not love it just because amy not that big on tofu. This restaurant was a very good addition to Columbia. I any really glad that they opened, & I most definitely will be back for more.

    (5)
  • Paul G.

    It's hard to give this place a truly thorough review since I've only ever had the spicy ramen. A dozen times or so. From the first time I went and tried it, I've hesitated to deviate since it's what I am craving as my car is tugged helplessly towards this place. It's filling, delicious, and very reasonably priced. Other than that, I have always been greeted warmly and received very fast and friendly service. No complaints here.

    (4)
  • Lucky F.

    Ate here sporadically six months ago, and then came back again today to try the veggie ramen with veggie broth again. At first, the idea that you could get fresh ramen at 10:30 AM in Columbia was incredible. Nowhere else in this city can you find such a reliable, affordable all-veggie option. Tonight, after 8 months of heavy west coast ramen, we found the veggie broth a bit straightforward. I am satisfied with bean sprouts, greens, and diced green onions -- especially because the ramen itself is firm and consistently -- but would it be too tough to include some mushrooms or tofu? Make no mistake, though: if you haven't tried ramen in a while (or ever), or even if you are just visiting the capital city and want a reliable dinner spot, open late near the capital building -- GO TO MENKOI.

    (4)
  • Lyn C.

    Went there for the first time with a friend during our GWO (Girls Weekend Out) in Columbia. It was just a little after they opened at 11 am. Being from Hawaii, we are used to great "saimin". I ordered the spicy ramen for myself and we shared the beef curry, shrimp shumai and onigiri with salmon. (Yeah, that's a lot of food, but we were going back home where we don't have Ramen places). She ordered the Tonkatsu ramen. I was so consumed in my spicy ramen and onigiri, that I wasn't thinking about anything else. I tried the beef curry and it was delicious, but I knew I had a huge bowl of spicy broth with tender pieces of pork, perfectly cooked veggies, a boiled egg that was boiled in the broth (Oh, my!), yummy noodles and garnishes of nori and fish cake all for me! I would drive the hour distance on a weekly basis just to eat here! The salmon onigiri was good as was the shumai, but I just wanted to taste them and devour the spicy ramen! Others must've felt the same because it quickly filled up. Service was great and fast! I love this place! Can you open one up in Augusta please?!

    (5)
  • Tanya C.

    Fast service & I absolutely love the spicy noodles. I love to stop in here for a quick lunch when I'm on the go! I'm usually in & out in less than 30 minutes. I recommend this to anyone with the similar Asian interests as me or even if you just love noodles!!!

    (4)
  • Kayla H.

    The spicy ramen is magical. This is the best ramen house I have found yet. I make sure I go every time I visit home in Columbia.

    (5)
  • Jonathan Z.

    Spicy Ramen=Yum. If you've never tried real ramen noodles (not the stuff you ate in college), you need to try. Looks like the noodles are made in house. Broth is very satisfying. Bits of cabbage and fish cake (basically imitation crab) and a nice kick make for good eats on a cold day. If you're looking for another relatively unusual bite, try the pickle plum rice ball. Sushi style rice wrapped around salty, sour plum. Definitely will be back. Located on Gervais in the Vista. Prices are pretty reasonable for the portion sizes.

    (4)
  • Val G.

    This place is awesome!! Your welcome to disagree. My experience was nice. The young lady explained how everything was made and that I could get a different broth because I dont eat pork or beef. The soup was good and they have this pepper thats make it even better. We left with full stomachs and left overs. I'll be going there again, you should try it.

    (5)
  • Shannon H.

    Authentic ramen that is worth the price. This is honestly my favorite place to eat in Columbia. LOVE the spicy ramen. Good location.

    (5)
  • April B.

    Comforting, warming Japanese ramen has made it to Columbia! It's on the edge of the vista bar district and is open late, so you can literally slurp away your hangover. Lingering over a Noel of noodles before dragging home for the night is almost guaranteed to leave you hangover free in the morning. You'll want to come back and give mr. Sato a big hug. Vegetarians, ask for the veggie broth which has no meat or fish broth. Glad they offer the option!!

    (5)
  • Ryan M.

    This ramen noodle place is on point. Love this place! We travel from atlanta to visit friends in Columbia. Every time we go we got to visit and pick up ramen noodles! Spicy ramen is my dish. You're safe with the miso ramen. Takes me back to my days in Hawaii.

    (5)
  • Shawn E.

    Big fan of the spicy ramen here. Maybe it's cold outside, or maybe you have the sniffles, or maybe you just want some good hearty soup. This is the place to get it.

    (5)
  • Kent Z.

    Awesome ramen, very hard to find authentic Asian cuisine in the city. Great food, fast, and affordable.

    (5)
  • Matthew S.

    What can I say that hasn't already been said about this lovely hidden gem in the area? Menkoi Ramen House is a must for anyone looking for a hot bowl of delicious ramen in various styles. I have been here often and I am always satisfied with my service. The atmosphere is quiet and clean, there is plenty of room to sit, and nearly every visit we are greeted with a "hello" from the kitchen staff located just behind the counter. You most certainly get what you pay for here at Menkoi. The bowls of ramen are very authentic and huge in comparison to what you are likely used to. Each bowl I've tried was very delicious and savory to the last bite, with the Spicy Ramen being my favorite. For only about $10 for ramen and a drink, I don't know why anyone with an appetite would not try this place. Menkoi is a must for those dining in the area that are looking for a unique and authentic cuisine at a low cost. 5 out of 5 stars.

    (5)
  • Jacqueline C.

    Saw the restaurant when on my way to Starbucks. Made a point to try it for lunch. Casual atmosphere. Simple menu. I got the veggie ramen and pork dumplings. The soup came in a huge steaming hot bowl, and the dumplings came with a sweet sauce. There is something so comforting about a big hot bowl of soup. The dumplings were delicate and tender. Everything was delicious! It may seem pricey but the portion is enough for leftovers later on. Food comes quickly and the server was nice.

    (4)
  • Dan C.

    Found it to be a real surprise to find a Japanese ramen house of this caliber in Columbia.

    (4)
  • Thomas H.

    Ramen houses are fairly rare outside of the really big cities and the West coast, so to find one here at all is a true pleasure. The gyoza appetizer was nothing special, but the spicy pork Ramen was excellent. Service was quick, so you can be in and out in less than 30 minutes.

    (4)
  • Katherine W.

    One word- excellent! Salmon rice ball beyond very good! Friendly staff and quick service.

    (5)
  • Gwonk B.

    Menkoi is Columbia's first ramen house and I hope more will come. As a Japanese-American who has lived in Japan for years, the worst part of coming home to SC is the total lack of fresh ramen options. I was estatic when I heard that Menkoi was opening up and I went there the first week they were open. The noodles and tsuyu are pretty good. The broth is cooked for a long time and doesn't seem to have instant ingredients in it. There is good variety and the noodles themselves are cooked well. It's just average compared to the places I've eaten before and expensive...but I still eat here often. I just miss ramen... Go here and give it a try. I doubt you will hate it and the tastes are authentic.

    (4)
  • Danny W.

    The japanese lady is very friendy. The Tonkusu Ramen is my favorite.

    (5)

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Map

Opening Hours

  • Mon :11:00 am - 2:00pm
  • Mon : 11:00 am - 2:00pm

Specialities

  • Takes Reservations : No
    Delivery : No
    Take-out : Yes
    Accepts Credit Cards : Yes
    Good For : Lunch
    Parking : Street
    Bike Parking : Yes
    Good for Kids : Yes
    Good for Groups : Yes
    Attire : Casual
    Ambience : Casual
    Noise Level : Average
    Alcohol : No
    Outdoor Seating : No
    Wi-Fi : No
    Has TV : Yes
    Waiter Service : Yes
    Caters : No

Menkoi Ramen House

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