Thursday, July 20, 2017

麺匠ようすけ (Yosuke in Nakano)

麺匠ようすけ

DSCF8008.jpg

Yosuke has been serving up tori paitan, creamy chicken soup ramen, since 2011. This style runs the gamut from milky white and elegant to a little off color and rougher. Yosuke falls into the latter category, with a lot of in-your-face flavors and impact.

DSCF8004.jpg

Of course, that was what I ordered. There are three options. Go for assari if you want something light. Noukou means thick. Chou noukou is super thick, and the one I recommend.

DSCF8006.jpg

Line up outside by number.

DSCF8005.jpg

While newer places like Kagari are making headlines for their modern take on tori paitan, sometimes you just need to wander the confusing back alley's of Nakano and get a bowl that really kicks up the flavor.

DSCF8012.jpg

Very cool part of town, by the way.

DSCF8003.jpg



東京都中野区中野5-57-4
Tokyo, Nakano-ku, Nakano 5-57-4
Closest station: Nakano

Open 11:30-22:00
Closed Wednesdays

Monday, July 17, 2017

北大塚ラーメン (Kitaotsuka in Otsuka)

北大塚ラーメン

DSCF7989.jpg

Old-school chashu ramen, Tokyo-style.

DSCF7979.jpg

The menu here couldn't be more simple. Ramen, spicy ramen, ramen with a mountain of chashu pork, and spicy ramen with a mountain of chashu pork.

DSCF7978.jpg

I was happy to visit with a group of travelers from my Airbnb tour, and introduce them to a tiny spot in a seedy part of town that most foreigners wouldn't dream of visiting.

DSCF7980.jpg

Go for the 800 yen chashu bowl, it is a thing of beauty.

DSCF7987.jpg

Rich, niboshi-spike broth with fat noodles. The bowl here is full of fat and carbs, and one of the most photogenic in Tokyo if I say so.

DSCF7990.jpg

It's a lot of pork, so if you go with a friend, maybe split it and get one of each.

DSCF7995.jpg

Not a bad line, though you might wait a few minutes around the lunch rush.

DSCF7997.jpg



東京都豊島区北大塚1-14-1
Tokyo, Toshima-ku, Kitaotsuka 1-14-1
Closest station: Otsuka

Open 11:00-14:30, 17:30-23:00
Closed Sundays

Thursday, July 13, 2017

博多一瑞亭 (Hakata Issuitei in Shinjuku)

博多一瑞亭

DSCF7966.jpg

Great Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen is tough to find in Tokyo, especially if you've had the stuff in Kyushu. Tokyo loses a bit of the vibe, and residents complain about the smell. So shops cut corners, or go out of business. Shops like Tanaka Shoten are great, but not so convenient.

DSCF7964.jpg

When a native Japanese friend from Kyushu told me that his favorite spot in Tokyo is just down the road in Shinjuku, I had to go. Seven bowls of ramen please!

DSCF7960.jpg

I was on one of my group tours, and we were hungry after the 15 minute walk from Shinjuku Station.

DSCF7965.jpg

Solid. This bowl was on the rough side. I know some people like their tonkotsu ramen silky smooth and white, but I'll take a flavorful bowl with bits of pork fat any day.

DSCF7971.jpg

The egg is good, but not necessary.

DSCF7972.jpg

Quite a big shop, so it worked out well for our group tour.

DSCF7974.jpg

DSCF7962.jpg

Crushed it!

DSCF7975.jpg



東京都新宿区新宿1-4-12
Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shinjuku 1-4-12
Closest station: Shinjuku

Open 11:00-23:00