There is a growing number of “next-generation legendary shops” that are enjoying a steady rise in rating and reputation in Tokyo, an area that is packed with veteran ramen shops. Below are four shops where you can taste incredibly rich ramen that will keep you digging in with your chopsticks!
A New Ramen Sensation That Balances Richness with Sourness
Mendokoro Issho is a ramen shop opened in December 2015. Its owner worked as the manager of Koisaimen Inoshow, a restaurant in Nerima that is known for its rich ramen, for six years. It has been creating a lot of buzz lately thanks to its style of letting customers choose vegetable toppings from eight different kinds, free of charge, and adding them to ramen with tonkotsu soup (made from pork belly and bones, and other ingredients) that was simmered for two days.
This ramen comes from the desire of its owner to “create Tonkotsu Ramen you can’t find anywhere else” has an exquisite soup that is rich in umami (savory Japanese) flavors and aromas, without being pungent. It goes really well with medium-thick noodles that use wheat flour from Hokkaido.
This is the Ramen (Toma-Vege) (Tomato-Vegetable) (790 JPY) that is creating a new sensation as it changes the taste of the soup by adding an Italian twist: tomato paste added into the rich tonkotsu soup. The soup that is made from five parts of pork (thighbone, backbone, feet, back fat and skin) is perfect with the crispy vegetables and the acidity of the tomato paste. The medium-thick noodles have a springy texture that makes them go smoothly down your throat.
Toma-vege is one of the eight free vegetable toppings offered at this joint. The tomato paste that is made with fresh tomatoes and lots of herbs and garlic is put on top of the bean sprouts, cabbage and thick pork chashu (roasted pork fillet), and then served in a separate small bowl. If you put these ingredients in the ramen when you’re halfway done eating, the sourness of the tomatoes will fuse with the rich soup to create a deep taste. You will surely drink the soup up to the last drop.
A Soupless Soba Masterpiece with Looks to Whet Your Appetite
"ajito ism" is a popular shop that is run by its owner who has been a chef for more than 20 years. The basic items in its menu are the creative mixed soba called Pizza Soba and three types of tsukemen (cold noodles accompanied by dipping sauce). By adopting Italian and French cooking methods, the chef managed to expand the possibilities of Chinese noodle dishes.
This is the Pizza Soba (Regular) (800 JPY) that is overflowing in originality, as it is a single dish that has overturned the conventional concept of “mazesoba” (mixed buckwheat noodles). The base of the sauce that covers the Chinese noodles is so original – thick vegetable soup that uses seven vegetables, including tomatoes, daikon radish and carrots. If you take a bite of the vegetable toppings such as tomato and watercress, and the noodles covered in cheese and spices, your mouth will be filled with a unique taste. The colorful presentation is also a feast to the eyes.
A Bowlful of Ramen with the Power of Ultra-Thick Noodles and Rich Soup
Ramen Yasuo is a shop that started from a stall and previously went under the name Suzuki Yasuo. It takes pride in its elastic homemade noodles and the rich soy sauce-based soup that is not overpowered by the noodles. The Ra-Udon that has special super thick noodles and Yasu-Jiro with huge serving sizes (850 JPY) are its two famous dishes. The Ra-Soba (800 JPY) with thin noodles is guaranteed to go down smoothly, too.
This is the Ra-Udon (800 JPY) that combines irregularly super thick noodles with chicken and seafood soup that has a strong taste of soy sauce. Given its rare combination of tastes while using orthodox ingredients, this is a bowl of ramen that packs an unparalleled punch. The soup does not use pork bones, so while it is rich, it also has a refreshing aftertaste. It probably makes a lot of sense that this dish is popular among regular elderly and female customers.
Extremely Large Servings of Ramen That You Won’t Get Tired of
Seikeimae Ramen is a ramen shop that was launched in June 2015. Its owner was a fan of the legendary shop Namaro that was located in the same place. Its hearty ramen has a tonkotsu base, and customers get to choose between the homemade medium-thick noodles and the super thick noodles (add 10 JPY). It has also been enjoying rave reviews for its Feat. Namaro (700 JPY) dish that aims to capture the taste of Namaro at its peak.
This is the Ramen (Gokubutomen/Regular) Topping Zenbu-nose (ramen with super thick noodles and all toppings) (710 JPY). While it looks like a model for a loaded bowl of ramen, the taste of its tonkotsu soup is actually milder than it looks. The basic toppings are free of charge (some cost extra), and you need to let the staff know of your preferences when you order. The balance of the ultra-thick chewy noodles and the heaping vegetable toppings is truly exquisite. The tender roasted pork with the thick taste of its sauce is a worthy accent to this ramen. Another secret to keeping you from being bored with dish is the inclusion of oil, garlic and red peppers in the soup.
[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 01.25.2018]
*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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