Thursday, June 22, 2017

みつヰ (Mitsui in Asakusa)

麺 みつヰ


Mitsui is located down a small, quiet alley in otherwise crowded Asakusa. Asakusa has, with the massive increase of tourism in Japan, become a bit crazy. New hotels, both corporate and boutique, provide hundreds more beds a night in this famous part of town on Tokyo's east side.

I'm a west side guy, so I don't make it out too often, but every time seems to be crazier.

I hate sending people to ramen shops that have a huge line of foreigners and English menus, so finding Mitsui was a blessing.


The shop serves Kitakata-style ramen, made famous in Tokyo at Shichisai. In fact, this shop has a direct connection to them, with the hand-massaged noodles being a big point.


Shio or shoyu. Both are light and refreshing.


The noodles are pressed by hand before boiling, and have a chewier texture than ones that weren't given the five-star treatment.

Everyone who visits Japan should try this style, it's often an eye-opening meal. Simple ingredients with deep flavor. I can't think of many shops as close to the tourism center of Tokyo that bring this level of slurp.


Official site here.


Map of 2 Chome-10-4 Nishiasakusa, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0035

Tokyo, Taito-ku, Nishiasakusa 2-10-4
Closest station: Asakusa

Open 11:00-14:30, 17:30-21:00
Weekends 11:00-16:00
Closed Mondays

Monday, June 19, 2017

らーめん 改 (Kai in Kuramae)

らーめん 改


There are many mini trends in the Tokyo ramen world, and this year one of those is clams. Sure, long-standing favorites Hototogisu and Mugitooribu have incorporated a clam broth into their soup, and newer Sora as well, but there are more.

Clams give a wonderful umami aftertaste, and whether you go full on shellfish, or just use it as an accent, this is a trend I am behind.


Kai serves a few bowls, but the one that put the new shop on the map is their clam salt ramen - 貝塩らーめん.


The master takes Japanese little neck clams (アサリ) as a base, and adds mussels (ムール貝) and scallops (ホタテ) as an accent. This triple shellfish broth is enough to send anyone with an allergy straight to the emergency room.


Topped with simple, legit toppings, Kai is one to watch.


I noticed on the side of the ticket machine, they have many, many limited bowls. Clam Chowder Ramen? Yes, please!


This was for one of my ramen tours, and everyone came away a winner.


For those who follow my site, be aware that this is a new shop that hasn't blown up yet, so the line is only set to get longer. Enjoy.


Map of 4 Chome-20-10 Kuramae, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0051

Tokyo, Taito-ku, Kuramae 4-20-12
Closest station: Kuramae

Open 11:00-15:00, 17:30-21:00
Closed Mondays

Thursday, June 15, 2017

進化 (Shinka in Machida)

町田汁場 しおらーめん進化 町田駅前店


Shinka is one of Machida's most revered shops. But, for some reason, when they opened a second shop, they did so only about one kilometer away. Hunh?


Well, this newer one is technically closer to the station, so I guess that is cool.


Same great chicken ramen flavored with a Japanese salt blend. Very high quality.

Shinka is very popular among ramen chefs. If you want to know where ramen chefs eat ramen, Shinka is on that list.


Upon further inspection, they have a 淡口醤油 - light soy sauce ramen - that is only at this branch. I may have to come back for that some day, even though this is one of Tokyo's best shio bowls.


Expect a short line up the stairs to the second floor shop.


Map of 1 Chome-12-13 Morino, Machida-shi, Tōkyō-to 194-0022

Tokyo, Machida-shi, Morino 1-12-13
Closest station: Machida

Open 11:00-15:00, 17:30-22:00