Saturday, May 29, 2010

Choose your Own Ramen Adventure

I was off to meet Keizo for some mid week noodles, but I took the wrong train. The shop we were meeting at was on the Seibu Ikebukuro line, and I took the Seibu Shinjuku line. These lines always confuse me, since neither of them are taken from Ikebukuro or Shinjuku. No worries, I had time to spare and could just walk a few kilometers.

Are there a lot of ramen shops in Tokyo? To put it in perspective, this little walk isn't near anything. Residential. Maybe a school or 2. Here is every shop I passed.


Linda man?



This shop was on TV, which is usually enough of an incentive for me to go.




Can you guess where I am?



Not a ramen shop per se, but I think this family restaurant has ramen on the menu.


Many different styles, you'll never suffer from lack of variety in Tokyo.


Only about 30 minutes have passed on my little walk. 30 minutes, and enough ramen shops for days of new adventures.


Almost to my destination station, the shops can be seen everywhere.






Oops, I got distracted.


This part of town is a bit far for me, so I probably won't be coming back here anytime soon. Has anyone been to any of these shops?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

凪 ゴールデン (Nagi Golden Gai in Shinjuku)

凪 ゴールデン街店


Recently, a few fellow adventurers have joined me on my hunt for great ramen in Tokyo. I get random emails from blog readers who plan on a Tokyo visit, and I'm always happy to meet. I wanted to take today's new friends, a couple of girls from Texas, to Fuunji. But then...


"We want to drink in Golden Gai!"

I can't argue with that logic. Golden Gai, the drinkinest street in Shinjuku, is also home to one of the best ramen shops in Town. Nagi!


A note of caution, this isn't delicious (it's an ashtray). The ramen on the other hand...








Today I ordered a side of sansho pepper oil. More than just spicy rayu, these are sometimes known as numbing pepper.


I didn't get this in previous visits.

I will get it in the future.


Being Golden Gai, might as well have a drink with your noodles.

Official Site Here (good design)

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

どっかん (Dokkan in Hatagaya)

背脂煮干濃厚醤油 どっかん


I went to Gamushara some time back. It's a Niigata style shop that is actually 3 shops in 1. Late night, it turns into Dokkan, a seabura ramen shop. Seabura, the chunks of fat that can make or break an adventure.


How does it look?


A few people had recommended this bowl to me, and now I'm sold. Usually, seabura is silky smooth, but this one was a bit more substantial. Just enough texture to know that you are eating something, but not enough to know that you are eating chunks of pork fat.


The soup had a lot of onion in it, which left a sweet aftertaste.

This is the hangover killer here. For the residents of Hatagaya, out on a late night binge, the perfect tisane is infused with fat.


Feel free to add extra tare if you want some more flavor.


Though it doesn't really need it.

Official Site

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

冬蔭激城麺 (Fujimaki Gekijo in Kanda)



Here it is, folks, the place with the $120 bowl of ramen.


But it's actually a bit of an adventure just to get to that point. Let me explain the process.


First things first, you come to this shop in Kanda for a modestly priced bowl of Tom Yum ramen. For 1500 yen, you get either spicy red, coconut creamy white, or black sesame infused black. Have a seat at the stylish counter.


If you want to continue along this road, call and make a reservation to have a bowl of the 3000 yen Spicy Castle ramen.


You'll get to sit in the red chairs, out of sight from the lowly peons.


The last step is to make a reservation, at least 3 days in advance, to the shop in Nakameguro. This is where you eat the Emperor ramen. Yeah, the 10,000 yen bowl of ramen. I'll rant about this in due time.


Let's focus on the regular bowl.


It's not your typical bowl of ramen. This is Thai fusion.


Let's get the price thing out of the way first. 1500 yen is very high for ramen. But many Thai restaurants in Tokyo will charge almost that much for a bowl of tom yum soup, so I don't think it's too much of a stretch.


It's really good by the way. You can tell that everything in this bowl is high quality. The spice resonates on your tongue.


The fired egg is an interesting choice.


The chef give explicit instructions, "Put exactly 5 spoonfuls of soup into the rice."


So, the question is, will I go for the 10,000 yen ramen?


...if the opportunity presents itself. Maybe I find a 10,000 note blowing down the street one day. Maybe another reporter is in town writing the umpteenth article about this shop and he needs a tour guide. Maybe one of my dear readers treats me!

Regardless, I'll let you know.

Official Site Here

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

もちもちの木 (Mochimochinoki in Shinjuku)



I needed a shop in this specific area, or my new adventure would be explaining to my student why I was late to our English lesson. Luckily, the main road in Shinjuku Nishiguchi is a hot spot for ramen shops.


Mochi Mochi no Ki had moved literally 1 block away, but that still warrants fresh bouquets of "welcome" flowers. It's a Japanese custom to give these flowers to any new shop in the area. What's not Japanese culture, though, is the guy we spotted stealing a handful of lillies!


Seriously, he took about 5. Anyways, down to the basement for this new ramen shop.


The interior of Mochi Mochi no Ki is very nice. Everything is wood. Classy. There is even a roped off section that looks like it used to be a VIP lounge. Who knows what was going on here a week ago.


More on the pizza later.


Very hot (due to the layer of scalding oil on top), very fishy (due to numerous fish that went into the soup), and very, very good.


The menma is their own creation, and you can buy packs of it to take home. If I ever try and make my own ramen, I know where to go for at least one of the toppings.


And, yes, the ramen pizza. It was only 400 yen due to the opening celebration. Would I order it every time? Probably not. I'd rather eat 400 yen worth of that menma. So good!

More Shop Info Here

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