Seven Popular Tsukemen Restaurants Around the Country Worth Waiting For
Tsukemen is a type of noodle dish in Japan where the noodles are dipped into a sauce served in a separate bowl. There are many ways of eating it, such as dipping steaming hot noodles in cold sauce or dipping cold noodles in warm sauce.
Tsukemen is popular around the country, and Rokurinsha is the restaurant that gave rise to a rich style of soup. Its famous dipping sauce is an extremely rich soup made from animal ingredients such as pork and chicken bones, but with a touch of the fragrance of seafood. The noodles are very thick and chewy. The noodles and soup each have distinct characteristics that can be savored. Rokurinsha has branches in Tokyo Ramen Street in Tokyo Station, in Tokyo Solamachi at the foot of Skytree, and in Haneda Airport. There is also a sister restaurant, Tsukemen Kyurin in Odaiba. The standard tsukemen (830 JPY (incl. tax)) is popular, but it is said that the fragrance of wheat comes through better in the warm tsukemen called "atsumori" (830 JPY, incl. tax), so why not order both and compare them?
2. Basso Drill-Man
The rather unique name of "Basso Drill-Man" is derived from "basso" (anagram of soba, or noodles), drill (as in "to drill," meaning to train hard) and "man" (person). The restaurant's small tsukesoba (starting at 750 JPY (incl. tax)) comes with a rich dipping sauce and thick, chewy noodles that will fill you up. You can order special toppings (200 JPY (incl. tax)) in a set including soft grilled char siu pork, nori, one flavored egg, and menma bamboo shoots. The hot basso, starting at 850 JPY (incl. tax) for a small, comes with garlic chips and onions that give it a fabulous texture, and is also popular for combining spiciness, richness, and texture. The restaurant is located between JR Ikebukuro Station and JR Mejiro Station in Tokyo. They close once they sell out, so be sure to go early.
3. Niboshi Ramen Tamagoro
Niboshi Ramen Tamagoro, which is located in front of Osaka Station, is the ramen chain of Genki Factory. Niboshi is a type of dried infant sardine, which is where the name comes from. The specialty menu is the niboshi ramen, which comes with a milky white tonkotsu pork-based soup that has been simmered for hours, with niboshi flavors and curly noodles. Popular items in the restaurant are the regular sized tsukemen (750 JPY (incl. tax)) and the spicy tsukemen (800 JPY (incl. tax)). You can enjoy the quality of both the soup and noodles in these dishes. The main restaurant is in Tenman, and in addition to a branch in Hankyu Sanbangai, there are 13 branches in Osaka, as well as others in Tokyo and Kobe.
4. Mita Seimenjyo
The tsukemen specialty restaurant, Mita Seimenjyo, is headquartered in Mita. Their specialty menu, the tsukemen (730 JPY for 200g (incl. tax) has a classic "double" soup made with concentrated flavors of tonkotsu pork bone and seafood. The soup goes well with the homemade super-thick noodles. They offer standard toppings such as egg, char siu pork, menma bamboo shoots, nori, and green onions. The prices remain the same for noodles up to 400 grams (830 JPY for super large (500g)) so you can decide on the quantity depending on how hungry you are. They serve a full range of snacks such as edamame, fried chicken, and gyoza dumplings, so many people go to enjoy the izakaya experience in the evenings. There are several branches in Tokyo, as well as in Kanagawa, Chiba, Osaka, Taiwan. and Hong Kong.
5. Menya Nanabee
Menya Nanabee in Sapporo is a restaurant that is always full of people. The noodles made with carefully selected ingredients by the owner, who was previously a chef of traditional Japanese cuisine, always meets one's expectations. The dipping noodles for the tsukemen (750 JPY for 200g (incl. tax)) is a double soup made from Nagoya Cochin chicken and niboshi through which one can taste the umami of the original ingredients. The noodles are homemade noodles made in their on-site studio. They are appreciated for the fragrance of whole-grain flour. The dipping sauce, with green onions, sesame seeds and fat floating on top, tastes lighter than it looks and mixes well with the noodles. In addition, the ramen made with pork ribs and cartilage in a salt-based soup (750 JPY (incl. tax)) is a popular ramen with gentle flavors in the style of Okinawa soba.
6. Tsukemen Maruwa Haruta Main Branch
This is a famous tsukemen restaurant in Nagoya. The dipping sauce is served bubbling in an impressive heavy stone pot and will remain steaming hot until you finish. The Maruwa tsukemen (830 JPY for 300g (incl. tax)) is a double soup made from tonkotsu and seafood and is characterized by a slight acidic flavor that lingers on the palate. It is served with large pieces of char siu pork, menma bamboo shoots, and a cured fish paste called naruto. The noodles are thick, flat noodles, and although they are slippery, they grasp the soup well because the soup is so thick. During weekday lunch hours, all sizes up to large (400g) are the same price, and either rice or onigiri is added as a service. In addition to the main store in Haruta, there are five locations including one to the east of Nagoya Station.
7. Hakata Ikkousha Daimyo Honke
Hakata Ikkousha is a long-established tonkotsu ramen restaurant in Hakata, the home of tonkotsu ramen. Daimyo Honke is the original store. A menu item available only here is chicken tsukemen (800 JPY (incl. tax)). The restaurant has induction heaters so that the dipping sauce doesn't go cold. You can enjoy their deeply flavorful dipping sauce steaming hot. Their char siu chicken comes with the skin so you can enjoy the juicy liquid that seeps out. The noodles are from the Ikkou Group's noodle-making plant, Keishi. They are glossy and very chewy. Tsukemen available at all the restaurants in the chain include GENSUKE tsukemen and soy sauce tsukemen which are 800 JPY each for 200g (incl. tax). Ikkousha has locations throughout Japan and in eight overseas countries and regions.
Tsukemen has greatly increased ways of eating ramen. With inventions such as tsukesoba and pasta-style ramen, we will need to keep an eye on the evolution of both soup and noodles. Are you an aficionado of the cold noodles or hot noodles? The new way of eating ramen may give you some ideas for when you return home. Tsukemen dipping noodles tend to come with thick soup so when you want to drink it, ask for a "soup wari" (adding dashi soup after finishing the noodles). You can ask the wait staff if they offer soup wari.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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