Monday, March 27, 2017

六厘舎 (Rokurinsha at Haneda Airport)

六厘舎 羽田空港店

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It's time I finally talk about Rokurinsha. I went to the original way back in 2008, when I first started this site. Back when the shop was a gem, when tsukemen of this caliber was a relatively new thing.

It was an epic experience, and an epic bowl. After a wait of an hour or more, I sat next to a high-level gangster, shoulder-to-shoulder, as we slurped this meaty, noodly food of the gods. They operated their shop by serving the entire place at once, and seating the next group when the current group of 15 was finished. A crazy system that would only work in the rural Osaki neighborhood they were located in.

Everyone loved this shop. Japanese media and food critics raved. David Chang still mentions it to this day. Unfortunately, this is a problem. The shop was constantly having issues with neighbors. This was, after all, a residential neighborhood. I'm sure my eating neighbor, the yakuza, didn't help the matter. Rokurinsha's master sold the brand sometime a few years later, after the success of the shop at the newly opened Tokyo Ramen Street.

Since then, Rokurinsha has opened in malls and airports, with a central kitchen and system much different than the original.

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As I was flying out of Haneda, I took the chance to eat here, something I thought I would never do again.

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Get your buzzing order-ready thing, and wait about 10 minutes.

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Self service toppings and soup wari are there for your enjoyment.

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So here it is.

I feel like comparing apples and oranges. Both are good, I just really prefer apples. The Rokurinsha of yesteryear was worthy of a pilgrimage. You can still watch shows on Netflix that talk about the old shop. Watch them, and you'll be on the next flight.

The new Rokurinsha is a standard thing. If you've never had a good tonkotsugyokai tsukemen, then this is going to knock your socks off. You'll Instagram it, recommend it to friends, and feel accomplished. So the cycle continues.

My goal with Ramen Adventures, when I started the site back in 2008 (Rokurinsha was my 10th post) was to help people find something truly unique. I can't think of anything in an airport or shopping mall food court that would apply.

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Official site here.

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東京都大田区羽田空港2-6-5 羽田空港国際線旅客ターミナル
Haneda International Terminal

Open 24/7

Thursday, March 23, 2017

武蔵家 (Musashiya in Kichijoji)

武蔵家

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Musashiya, in the city of Musashi, adds that famous 家, a character meaning house, to let everyone know that they are serving ie-kei, Yokohama-style ramen. As if the smell wasn't enough.

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They are known for their shio ramen, made with あご, dried flying fish. If you thought all shio ramen was light and simple, you'd be proven wrong here.

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As with any Yokohama-style, plenty of garlic, ginger, and other condiments for you to kick up your bowl.

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And with all Yokohama-style bowls, choose your level of flavor, amount of oil, and firmness of noodles. Futsu if it is your first time. Futsu means normal.

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My friend was here with her parents, a Malaysian family, and dad said that the all-you-can-eat rice option would never work anywhere else. Families would sit down and never leave. It's only 50 yen, about 40 cents, for as many refills as you like.

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The bowl here is very normal in the realm of ie-kei. I could finish, which puts it in the top 10% for my personal taste. Not saying much, except that I'm a guy who doesn't go for these heavier soups as my bowl of choice.

Regardless, you can get a mini bowl for only 550 yen, and beautiful Inokashira Park is just a minute away. You'll find a few tourists here for those reasons, but nothing crazy like Harajuku or Akihabara, which are packed with travelers these days.

By the way, for someone looking for a bit of niceness in Tokyo, stroll east from Inokashira Park along the river. You can walk for hours, and it is a little hidden gem of an outing.

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Official site here.

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Map of 1 Chome-8-11 Kichijōji Minamichō, Musashino-shi, Tōkyō-to 180-0003
東京都武蔵野市吉祥寺南町1-8-11
Tokyo, Musashino-shi, Kichijoji Nancho 1-8-11
Closest station: Kichijoji

Open 11:00-1:30am
Sundays 11:00-12:30am

Monday, March 20, 2017

楓 (Kaede in Ogikubo)

味噌麺処 楓

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One of Tokyo's best miso ramen joints is Hanamichi, out west in Nerima. It's a heavy bowl, with a massive punch of salty miso. It should come as no surprise that when a disciple of this shop decides to become a master, he sticks with what he knows.

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Ogikubo is convenient, though this shop is a bit of a walk from the station. I used to live out here, so these are familiar streets, but it might seem like you are headed into the residential heart of nowhere as you stray farther and farther from the station.

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Even though it's out there, expect a short line. Or a long one.

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Miro or spicy miso. Your choice. And don't forget a side of seasoned quail eggs.

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The bowl is on par with Hanamichi, if not better. With the addition of a ginger paste on the top, the overall bowl is similar yet different. Similar in the cooking process, where soup is reduced with vegetables in a wok.

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Different with that new topping. The 生姜あん, a thick and flavorful ginger punch, goes so well with the miso. Other famous miso shops are known for a bit of freshly grated ginger, but this is next level. No wonder Kaede was named the rookie miso of 2016.

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Official site here.

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Map of 2 Chome-40-11 Kamiogi, Suginami-ku, Tōkyō-to 167-0043

東京都杉並区上荻2-40-11
Tokyo, Suginami-ku, Kamiogi 2-40-11
Closest station: Ogikubo

Open 11:00-15:00, 18:00-21:00
Weekends 11:00-17:00
Closed Mondays