The ラーメンアメリカ人 crew was at it again, checking out more noodle spots in Kabukicho. This time was to the relatively new Kaminoshizuku. Drops of the gods! Way to set the bar high.
Being Kabukicho, you need to be open late. Kaminoshizuku raises the bar and is open from 11am until 9am. Yeah, a mere 2 hours of down time to clean up and get ready for the next day. Keep that in mind.
Keep that in mind because I have, in my younger days, been stuck in Shinjuku after the last train of the night has left the station. Countryside dwellers need to be on the 11:30pm express, or else it's time for an all-nighter. A realxing ramen shop fits perfectly into the equation, and at Kaminoshizuku you can get a nice table in the back. A nice table complete with privacy curtain and... chandelier?
On this point, this shop is amazing. So relaxing and comfortable.
The counter seating out front proudly displays the ingredients in the soup. What can you recognize?
The menu isn't just ramen. Plenty of alcohol and snacks are available. Of course, we tried as much as we could.
The gyoza were normal. Your choice of Aomori prefecture garlic or Kagoshima prefecture pork.
The fried squid was excellent.
And then the ramen. There are an absolute ton of options. The best looking (from the plastic models displayed out front) was the spicy toributa. Made from a blend of pork and chicken bones, this one definitely had the look of tasty. But, to me, it wasn't as flavorful as I would have liked, and laden with oil. Too bad!
The standard shoyu ramen was the best of the bunch. Made with the past in mind, it is smooth and has a lot of flavors going on. You saw all the ingredients, here is where you see what they can do.
Then there were the outliers. The menu shows off a few curious choices. The milk and cheese tsukemen and the Napoli style tsukemen were 2 that caught my eye. Well, eye, how is it?
The Napoli style was , as expected, a tomato based soup. Mixed with a chicken broth and some sort of meat sauce, the smell was fantastic. But when the noodles were dipped, a definite under-performer. Taking a soup spoon, I tried the dipping sauce alone, sans noodles. It was great. The soup alone is like something you would get at a nice soup restaurant. The noodles are a complete mis-match here. If I could change it, I would go with a thin noodle, and cover those noodles with powdered parmesean cheese (fresh-grated would be great, but unrealistic). The noodles would catch the soup a bit easier that way. But maybe that wouldn't fit in with the "Napoli" image.
Despite the disappointing ramen, this place is one that I will keep in the back of my mind, for the next time that last train goes whizzing off and a need a place to sit down for a spell.
Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 1-27-5
Closest station: Shinjuku
Open 11:00am-9:00am (!!)