Monday, March 19, 2018

龍の子 (Ryunoko in Harajuku)



Looking for tantanmen in touristy Harajuku?


Look no further than Ryunoko, which means the dragon's child.


Ryunoko does a dozen or so noodle dishes at lunch, but the tantanmen is their most popular.


It's your standard style with a mix of spicy and numbing Chinese herbs and spices to balance everything out.


You can't beat the location, right between a Starbucks and the famous Takeshita Dori, the street that runs from Harajuku Station to Omotesando. This street used to be filled with girls (and some boys) playing dress-up in gothic lolita fashion, but those days have dwindled for the most part. Now you'll find a lot of tourist using the street to make their way to the other end, where Japanese street fashion boutiques offer limited edition apparel with overseas resale appeal.

Anyways, I don't hang out in Harajuku much.


東京都渋谷区神宮前1-8-5 メナー神宮前B1
Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Jingumae 1-8-5
10 minute walk from Harajuku Station

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

Thursday, March 15, 2018

玉 (Gyoku in Kawasaki)

つけめん 玉


First things first, check out the video!

This is tonkotsu gyokai ramen at a high level.


Tonkotsu refers to the thick pork soup used, and gyokai is all about the fish. In this case, they use niboshi (dried sardines) and urumeboshi (dried herring). Both give a lot of deep, smoky flavors to this tsukemen.


Like I said in the video, for people staying at On The Marks Kawasaki, this is a must-hit. For the rest of you, I would give this one a solid recommendation. Tonkotsu Gyokai is one of those flavors that some people aren't in to, but the rest go crazy. Satiate your insanity with this one for sure.


Something random I liked about this was that they didn't fill the bowl with raw onions, rather they have them chopped in jars on the counter for you to add yourself. I personally am not a huge fan, so I could avoid them for once.


Official site here.


Kanagawa-ken, Kawasaki-shi, Kawasaki-ku, Oiwakecho 6-12
30 minute walk from Kawasaki Station

Open 11:00-15:00, 17:00-21:00
Weekends 11:00-21:00

Monday, March 12, 2018

宣久 (Thank You in Rokakoen)

秋刀鮪だし 宣久


秋刀 = Sanma; Pacific Saury
鮪 = Maguro; Tuna
だし = Dashi; broth


So, this shop is making a broth out of two kinds of rarely used fish. That should be interesting enough, but for me the reason to come here is a bit deeper. This is the shop that formerly housed Ivan Ramen, one of the most important shops in the global history of ramen. When Ivan moved his operation to New York, he decided to pass this one off to his staff, who kept some things and changed up the rest.


The noodles are very reminiscent of Ivan's, who was one of the first people in Japan to use whole grain wheat in his noodles. The soup, however, is a completely new concept.

Fish is underutilized in ramen, apart from niboshi, which is everywhere. Things like sanma and maguro usually only make it into a limited bowl; sanma is one of the signals that autumn has arrived. Both fish are hearty and full of oils that give the soup a deep, oceany flavor.


The second floor is still a noodle room, and the noodles at Thank You are amazing.


Another nod to the past is the roast tomato, a signature topping of Ivan's ramen.


This is Matsumoto-san. And this is his ramen. I remember him working hard under Ivan, and this new shop really shows that he mastered the craft.


Thanks for the tomatoes!


Tokyo, Setagaya-ku, Minamikarasuyama 3-24-7
5 minute walk from Rokakoen Station

Open 11:30-14:30, 18:00-21:00
Closed Wednesdays