Monday, May 22, 2017

劔 (Tsurugi in Takadanobaba)

焼麺 劔



I rarely eat a bowl with the wow factor anymore, but the above was definitely something new.


Billed as 焼麺, yakimen, this bowl uses noodles that have been fried on the teppan grill. Add to that a slice of chashu that looks more like bacon, and a fried egg, and you've go what I call breakfast ramen.


As with any unique ramen, there is an instruction sheet telling the customer how to eat it. Even though I tried, this one was a challenge. The noodles are all fried together, and my chopstick skills aren't high enough to easily cut the mass.

If I were to go back, I might get the non-fried version with regular noodles.


Despite the challenge of how to eat, this bowl was awesome. The soup is concentrated and thick.


Fresh ground katsuo flakes add another layer of smokiness to the bowl.


They've been visited by celebrities. Actually, this was for research on my part for an upcoming TV show about ramen in the area. Tsurugi was given the bronze out of 60 shops. Not bad.


Map of 2 Chome-6-10 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 169-0075

Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Takadanobaba 2-6-10
Closest station: Takadanobaba

Open 11:00-15:00, 18:00-22:00
Closed Sundays

Thursday, May 18, 2017

匠堂 (Takumido in Sagamihara)

麺屋 匠堂


This spot, way out in Sagamihara, was on my ever-growing list of shops to try. I can't remember who told me about it though. A ramen nerd acquaintance? A drinking buddy? A random dude on the street? Either way, I always mark recommendations, no matter how obscure, and hit them up if I'm in the area.


Well, I was in the area with some friends (you'll need a car for this one) and we popped in.


Recommendations, おすすめ, are:
  1. Special shio ramen.
  2. Tsukemen with extra green onion and pork.
  3. Spicy mazesoba with cheese.
I'll go for No. 3!


A big bowl of junk food. Mix it up and go to town.


Well, I don't think it was a ramen nerd who recommended this one. Very oily, with a handful of store-bought processed cheese thrown on top.

The rest of the menu (we tried a few bowls) was mediocre as well.


In reality, this is a typical local shop, where families can come for a meal. The atmosphere was comfortable, and there are a few side menu items to satisfy the kids while mom and dad have a beer.


Map of 7 Chome-8-15 Hashimoto, Midori-ku, Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa-ken 252-0143

Kanagawa-ken, Sagamihara-shi, Midori-ku, Hashimoto 7-8-16
Closest station: Hashimoto

Open 11:30-15:00, 18:00-22:00
Closed Mondays

Monday, May 15, 2017

貝ガラ屋 (Kaigaraya in Fuchinobe)

貝だしラーメン 貝ガラ屋


I was at the RaJuku ramen school with the master from Kodawari Ramen in Paris. He was here for a week-long crash course, and I was there for a couple days to help translate. What did we do after six hours of ramen testing? Get more ramen of course.


Kaigaraya let's you know exactly what goes into their bowl; oysters.


It's strange, but for me oyster ramen seems like a recent trend, despite places like Kaigaraya being open since 2014. Oyster ramen is quite an intense taste, not something I could see finding a huge following.


Despite the strong flavors going on, I am into this one.


A creamy, paitan style soup with the basic toppings. Very simple apart from the complex soup.


The tsukemen comes with a side of oyster paste for an extra kick. I prefer the normal カキソバ, but some people might go for the extra volume that tsukemen offers.


Kind of out there in terms of accessibility, but if, for some reason, you are out here, you might want to pop in. Fortunately, it is in the area of the RaJuku ramen school. Unfortunately, you'll be stuffed after the class.


Map of 3 Chome-24-3 Fuchinobehonchō, Chūō-ku, Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa-ken 252-0202

Kanagawa-ken, Sagamihara-shi, Chuo-ku, Fuchinobehonmachi 3-24-3
Closest station: Fuchinobe

Open 11:30-15:00, 18:00-21:00
Closed Mondays