Friday, October 28, 2011

RonFan in Sakuradai

坦々麺専門店 RonFan

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Sakuradai is a rarely visited station a few minutes out of Ikebukuro. Most people zoom by it on an express train to more lucrative eating grounds. But when a student of mine insisted that I try her favorite tantanmen shop in Tokyo, I know I had to be there. Since our lesson ends at 3pm, and this shop closes at 3pm, getting there for the 11am opening was the adventure of the day. Hey, Wednesday is my sleep-in day!

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Tantanmen is all about layers of spice. It's simple to make something spicy. But to make that spice meld into newer, exciting flavors, therein lies the test.

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Rustic tools to crush your own sesame seeds are a good sign.

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As is an inventive bowl topped with ishinori, an uncommon topping for this type of ramen (or any type for that matter). Ron Fan delivered on the layers, and the initial spice kick was quickly subdued by the creamy soup. Soon the numbing pepper, wonderful 山椒, did it's thing. An excellent bowl.

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Free rice at lunch would be worth the extra 100 yen at dinner. Rice really grabs the soup. By now the ishinori has all but dissolved, leaving its salty essence in the broth.

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They also offer up black tantanmen and a super spicy version.



東京都練馬区桜台1-6-7
Tokyo, Nerima-ku, Sakuradai 1-6-7
Closest station: Sakuradai

Open 11:00-15:00, 17:00-1:00am
Sunday 11:00-22:00

4 comments:

ramen-man said...

I live quite close to this one so I visited this shop but I wouldn't recommend this shop to anyone.

一度行きましたが、私はお薦めしません。

Brian said...

I'm sorry you didn't like it. What points were bad? Do you have another tantanmen shop that you like?

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for my bad review of the shop but the portion is too small,
the rice I ordered comes with noodle was really bad and so on. I thought the taste of noodle is not good at all. Although these places aren't smoke free I'd recommend you 麺篠居士 in Fujimidai and 馬賊 in Nippori. I'd really like your blog which was linked from BBC travel.

Abram said...

I went to 馬賊 in Nippori and thought it was very average. The portion size was nice and the house-made noodles weren't bad but the soup lacked impact and was not very memorable. It felt like they used the regular ramen soup to make the tantanmen. Nothing special.