Almost every department store in Tokyo above 5 stories will have a food court on the top. But if you are thinking mall-style, think again. You will be hard pressed to find a Panda Express or Cinnabon here (though the mega calorie baked treats would go over well in Japan I am sure). These spots are budget gourmet, and you can usually find some great eats.
Especially when you pick a high class department store like the Lumine EST building in Shinjuku. I found a nice sweater vest that I liked on the 5th floor, but the $450 price tag sent me up. Past the designer Native American jewelery, past the street-cum-catwalk fashions, to the food floor. To the latest venture from ramen chef Keisuke.
Each of the Keisuke shops is completely different. This is a good and a bad thing. This is the 7th or 8th that has come around, and though most of them were excellent, a couple were really really bad. So a new Keisuke concept is a bit of a gamble.
The massive salt rock on display explains it all, this is shio ramen.
Shio ramen with a twist. Inside the lid is a whiff of smoke, imbibing the bowl with another layer of flavor.
The more popular kotteri ramen and tsukemen were sold out for the day, and I had no choice but to go with the assari. Maybe that was the best choice, as the smoke comes to the front of the light soup. With all Keisuke offerings, I expect something totally out there, and eating smoke suffices.
It should be noted that a blend of 3 super premium salts is used. Mongolian rock salt, known for its pinkish hue; natural salt from the Andes mountains; and sun dried Bali salt. Is it necessary? You bet!
What will be next from Keisuke?
Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-38-1
7th Floor of the Lumine EST Building
Closest station: Shinjuku