In a veritable checklist for the definition of "local", Ramen Ten is a mere minute walk from my new apartment on the west side of Shinjuku. Local location. Check.
Jumbled exterior, full of discarded noodle containers, empty kegs, and expensive road bikes. Local feel from the outside. Check.
Eclectic interior with piles of popped tops amongst bicycle tools. Local feel on the inside. Check.
Chopsticks laid out on pieces of coral. Artistic creativity. Check.
And some late-night-drunk ramen. Check.
Actually, I was fairly sober at the time I enjoyed this bowl. Sober enough to think that the にんにく卵, garlic egg, soup would be the one for me. The shop actually has four different soups simmering in the back. This one was intense. A shock of garlic and pork. The shops opens for lunch, but I would never ever get this if the prospect of face-to-face contact might occur in the next 12 hours. Not as pungent as popping a spoonful of raw crushed into your bowl, which is the norm at many shops. Ten's soup is infused with the stuff, and you will be reeking of it after.
My local spot used to be the superb Sengoku Jiman, but a quick move across town negated the possibility of any more 1:00am visits there. And though a mere 30 minutes away on just about any mode of transportation, there is no way I can go more than a few blocks at times. I can smell a lot of garlic in my future.
Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Honmachi 3-48-12
Closest station: Nishi-Shinjuku-gochome
Open 11:00-15:00, 17:30-1:00am