My recent adventure to Kokaiya was a search for the perfect chashu. Pork simmered in shoyu, mirin, and other sweet and savory ingredients until it is tender and rich. I dubbed it excellent, but who would know that just a couple days later I would find one to top it?
Shichisai is an extremely hyped shop. An appearance in every magazine, a flawless victory on a past ramen TV challenge, and a line out the door.
You can choose shoyu or shio. I went with the shoyu. How was it? It was LEGEN... wait for it...
...DARY! Let me break it down, starting with the bits that were great, and moving up.
The shop boasts organic fare. No MSG, no chemicals, just high quality ingredients. There are a lot of shops doing this these days. In fact, I'd say most of the best shops are preservative free.
Then there are the noodles. Wide and curly, it was almost enough to make me order a kaedama (extra serving), which is almost never done at a shoyu shop. Very unique.
Then there was the pork. From the above picture of my bowl, you can see two kinds. Shichisai serves up both sirloin and pork belly. Both are possible the best chashu I've had in Tokyo. That good. Goramen, who has eaten more chashu than you or I combined, calls it the best he's ever had.
I made the mistake of not ordering the chashumen, which for 300 yen more comes covered in the shop's signature meat. I did, though, order a chashu rice bowl which was not really what I wanted. Get the chashumen. Everyone else who walked in the door did.
Noodle ears? You can take home some of the noodle ends for a mere 50 yen, which is a steal for fresh noodles of this quality.
On the way out, this sign caught my attention. Shichisai will be debuting at the Tokyo Ramen Street in April. Congrats! Along with... Junk Garage. This is excellent news indeed.
Official Site Here
I made a video!
I made a video!