【Shinjuku/Tokyo】Plain Vs. Creamy?! Top 3 Exquisite Ramen Shops Close to the Station
Shinjuku is a place where many people come and go day and night thanks to its excellent accessibility, what with the JR, subway, and many other train lines passing through this area. This article will showcase three handpicked shops serving superb ramen in an area that is within a 10-minute walk from the train station in Shinjuku! Offering different kinds of ramen – from ramen with thick and creamy white chicken broth made by a shop famous for mizutaki (chicken and vegetables boiled in water, and then eaten with dipping sauce), up to the plain shoyu (soy sauce) ramen that uses specialty light chicken stock and robust back fat – these shops are frequented by people working in Shinjuku, and are definitely a must-try for ramen fans.
Hakata Tori Soba Hanamidori Shinjuku Mitsui Bldg. Branch – Rich and Creamy White Chicken Soup from a Mizutaki Specialty Shop
With its headquarters in Fukuoka, this restaurant that is famous for mizutaki has finally made its foray into the world of ramen by opening a shop in Shinjuku Mitsui Building. Banking on its soup filled with collagen that uses Hanamidori, the shop’s own brand of chicken that is bred in Kyushu, Hakata Tori Soba Hanamidori is a spot where you can enjoy dishes like robust, white chicken soup soba (buckwheat noodles), as well as ramen arranged in a traditional mizutaki style. It also offers superb roasted Hanamidori breast meat that has a mild taste and soft texture.
The Hakata Gokujo Tori Paitan Soba (soba in premium Hanamidori white soup) (860 JPY) is based on white chicken and mizutaki soup, with thick chicken oil and butter added to give it a creamy finish. The thick white chicken soup has the distinct richness of butter that makes it look like a stew. (※The ingredients of this ramen vary depending on the season. The ramen in the photo is available in spring.) The Noko Miso Ramen (thick miso ramen) (920 JPY) is also recommended here. There are also many side dishes to choose from, including Karaage (deep-fried chicken) (150 JPY) during lunch and Tokusei Tori Gyoza (special chicken pot sticker) (480 JPY) for dinner.
■ Hakata Tori Soba Hanamidori Shinjuku Mitsui Bldg. Branch
Hours: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM, 4:00 PM – 11:00 PM (last order at 10:30 PM)
Closed: Sundays and public holidays (varies depending on the season)
Seating capacity: 36 seats (two counter seats, 34 table seats)/Smoking allowed (only after 2:00 PM)
Parking area: None
Access: 1-minute walk from Tochomae Station B2 Exit
6-minute walk from Shinjuku Station West Exit in every train line
Menya Sho – Creating Flavors That Will Get You Hooked on Specialty Salt
Menya Sho is a shop in the Nishi-Shinjuku area that is famous for its salt-based ramen. It boasts constant streams of repeat customers who come for the taste of the salt that is made from an exquisite blend of French, Mongolian, Italian, and Ako natural salts, as well as for the delicate taste of the soup that is created by slowly cooking chicken bones and other ingredients for a long period of time. It probably does not need to be said that this shop’s soy sauce-based ramen, which has a rich aroma, also has lots of fans.
The Kosai Toridashi Tokusei Shio Ramen (special salt ramen in aromatic chicken broth) (990 JPY) is, as suggested in the “kosai” part of its name, an artistic dish that fuses “kaori” (also read as “ko”, which means fragrance) from the chicken bone soup and the char siu (roasted pork) that was smoked using sakura smoke chips, with “irodori” (also read as “sai”, which means color) from the ito-togarashi (shredded chili peppers). It will whet your appetite with its light taste. Meanwhile, the Kosai Toridashi Ajitama Shoyu Ramen (soy sauce-based ramen in aromatic chicken broth with a soft-boiled egg) (890 JPY), Tori Paitan Ajitama Ramen (chicken soup ramen with a soft-boiled egg) (890 JPY), and the Tori Paitan Tokusei Tsukemen (cold Chinese noodles with special clear soup) (990 JPY) are the signature dishes of this joint's manager.
■ Menya Sho
Hours: 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM
(Saturdays, Sundays, Public Holidays) 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
*Last order at 9:00 PM every night
Seating capacity: 18 seats (counter seats only)/Non-smoking
Parking area: None
Access: 5-minute walk from Shinjuku-nishiguchi Station D5
12-minute walk from Shinjuku Station West Exit in every train line
Misato – Chase a Bowl of Rich Ramen with Good-Quality Back Fat
Misato is a shop that takes pride in its use of extremely uniform back fat. While its back fat soup is often mistaken as a heavy soup, this ramen manages to minimize the heaviness of pork to create a sense of unity with the plain soup made from pork bones, chicken bones, and potherbs. Customers love this shop for letting them choose the hardness of the noodles, flavor of the soup, and amount of back fat when they order.
The Shoyu Ramen (700 JPY) uses back fat, but it still achieves a simple yet robust taste. It is topped with two pieces of char siu, menma (seasoned bamboo shoots), spring onions, and other ingredients. The Shio Ramen (700 JPY), Miso Ramen (750 JPY) and Pirikara Miso Ramen (spicy miso ramen) (850 JPY) are also famous.
Hours: 11:30 AM – 8:30 PM (last order)
Seating capacity: 10 seats (counter seats only)/Non-smoking
Parking area: None
Access: 4-minute walk from Higashi-shinjuku Station B2 Exit
Are you a fan of plain ramen? Or do you prefer rich and creamy ramen? You can actually try and compare all three shops above depending on your mood that day! So, if you get a break from your busy work schedule, how about trying a bowl of superb ramen from an eki-chika (an underground commercial facility near a train station)?[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 10.27.2017]
*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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