While it may sound like a gentlemen's tattoo parlour, Mentatz is actually just a Japanese restaurant, and one you've probably walked past on numerous occasions. The mastermind behind the operation is Chef Kudo, who earned his stripes in restaurants like Parnell's Karin.
Mentatz specialises in tonkotsu ramen, the traditional pork based broth noodle dish, though they also have a strong selection utilising both miso and chicken bases. Choice is generous with around 20 soup options and five dry ramen that appear more like a noodle salad thanks to a copious amount of greens. It also can't be beaten for value and you can spend as little as $9 for a large, hearty meal.
Like most ramen houses, Mentatz hand stretch their own noodles. The difference comes in the option of being able to choose the way you'd like your noodles cooked, like when ordering a steak: medium, well done etc. They also apparently abide by the Japanese custom of "kae-dama", which allows hungry diners to pick up a second helping of noodles for $1.50 by uttering the magic word meaning "double".
Although their signature dish is ramen, Mentatz also provide a range of other staple Japanese dishes, including donburi and side dishes like edamame, gyoza and agedashi tofu. Given its reasonable prices and proximity to Auckland Uni on Lorne St, the restaurant is typically heaving so its not unusual to have to wait for a table. Just don't expect five star service.