Thursday, June 22, 2017

みつヰ (Mitsui in Asakusa)

麺 みつヰ

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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.

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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.

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Shio or shoyu. Both are light and refreshing.

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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.

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Official site here.

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

東京都台東区西浅草2-10-4
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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

東京都台東区蔵前4-20-10
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

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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?

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

東京都町田市森野1-12-13
Tokyo, Machida-shi, Morino 1-12-13
Closest station: Machida

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