I have been told that I am a little noodle obsessed. The problem is that there are so many places to choose from in Korea that you just don't know is worth your time. That is the same case with Japanese Ramen. I have seen them come and go. Back in 2009, I wrote a roundup of the best places but many of those places have disappeared. Of the 6 I wrote about only Hakata Bunkko is left. Luckily there is still Menya Sandaime over by Hongdae.
Now Menya Sandaime has been around for ages and they do have a chain but my friend Chad swears that this place is the best. I have to agree with him because it is my go to place when I just need a bowl of Japanese-style noodles. My favorite is the Tsukemen which has a bowl of thick, chewy noodles with a side of savory/spicy broth. you dip the noodles into the spicy broth and eat. It has a satisfying chew and an elusive spice. I have also gotten their regular ramen which has a rich broth and high-quality noodles. I usually get their gyoza there as well which is good. A standard good, not mind-blowingly good but it is a nice accompaniment.
The atmosphere feels like a Japanese ramen place since it is a little dingy and cluttered. The service are very polite (and I think all are Japanese). It makes you feel like you're in Tokyo.
Let me conclude by saying that this is one of those stable, consistent places in Korea. I feel it will be around for a long time (and in Seoul that means a lot). I would recommend you go to the original because I've never had a bad meal here and I know from experience that quality tends to go down once you franchise. I guess in a world of flux, it is nice to have a standard, excellent bowl of ramen.
서울 마포구 서교동 355-25
Address: Mapo-gu Seogyodong 355-25