- Arata Ishiko
4 Recommended Ramen Shops in Tokyo (Shinjuku Edition)
Shinjuku, where thousands of people come and go to every day, is also a place where ramen restaurants fiercely compete over whose ramen tastes better. There are many restaurants that serve different kinds of ramen representative of different regions in Japan. Here are 4 such ramen restaurants that you can find in Shinjuku.
1. IPPUDO Lumine Est Shinjuku (1/2PPUDO)
IPPUDO is a chain restaurant specializing in Hakata ramen, characterized by its creamy tonkotsu soup and thin noodles. Ippudo's store in Shinjuku, IPPUDO Lumine Est Shinjuku (1/2PPUDO) is based on the concept of 1/2, and its standard menu items such as the Shiromaru Motoaji (732 JPY (excl. tax)) are available in half sized portions. Aside from that, the Shiromaru Tonkotsu Hyakunen Tofu (732 JPY (excl. tax)), which replaces ramen with tofu, not only reduces the portion in half, but the amount of carbohydrates as well! Desserts such as the Soft and Smooth Rooibos Tea Flavored Pudding (297 JPY (excl. tax)) are also available, so diners who are not very big fans of ramen might be able to enjoy relaxing in this cafe-like restaurant as well.
2. Keika Ramen Shinjuku Higashiuchi Ekimae Branch
Keika Ramen serves up Kumamoto ramen with a mellow soup base made of tonkotsu and chicken stock. It uses noodles that are thicker than its Hakata counterpart. At this restaurant, try the Taro Noodles (980 JPY (incl. tax)). Generously topped with raw cabbage and taro, braised pork so soft that it could melt in your mouth, the taste of this combination really stands out from the rest! This restaurant is great for diners who love filling up their stomachs with fatty meat.
3. HAKATA ISSUITEI
Even though they are all called the same thing, Hakata ramen actually varies in taste, appearance, and style according to the store that serves it. The rich broth of the Hakata ramen that is served in this restaurant is made up of 10 different types of seafood, and the special characteristic is that it is really thick and creamy. Recommended for diners who love rich-tasting ramen! One sip and you might also get addicted to the thick soup and chewy texture of standard ramen (750 JPY (incl. tax))! Also, the Ajitama Char Siu Noodles (1,000 JPY (incl. tax)) with its harmonic balance of the soup and the yolk from the soft boiled ajitama (flavored egg) that this store is so proud of has had nothing but rave reviews!
4. Ramen Tatsunoya Shinjuku Otakibashi-dori Branch
The first thing one thinks of when hearing of tonkotsu soup and thin, straight noodles might be Hakata ramen, but did you know that Hakata ramen originated from Kurume ramen, which is from Fukuoka in the same Kyushu region? RAMEN TATSUNOYA started off from Kurume and expanded to Shinjuku. At this restaurant, you can sample the deluxe tonkotsu-based Tsukemen Motsu (780 JPY (incl. tax)). Recommended for diners who might want to try an unusual kind of tsukemen! Also try both the basic Tonkotsu Junaji (730 JPY (incl. tax)), whose soup is made by boiling only the pig's head for many hours to extract and condense the full savoriness, and the even richer Tonkotsu Kokuaji (780 JPY (incl. tax)), made with homemade spicy miso paste and fried garlic!
Did reading up about these ramen restaurants make you crave for a bowl? You can imagine yourself enjoying a short getaway to Kyushu or Tohoku as you order a bowl of ramen at any of these restaurants, even though you are physically in Shinjuku!
*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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