Wednesday, August 1, 2012

渡なべ (Watanabe in Takadanobaba)



Lovingly called Baba by the locals, Takadanobaba is an area that I should really spend more time eating in. The now snoozing Ramenate covered the place quite well, when he was here, and I always felt like I could search further afield for quality slurping.


What a horrid thought! Baba is still a ramen battle zone, and a shop like Watanabe is a clear victor. What's so special about this one? It is another in a long line of thick tonkotsu gyokai soups, a trend that has become something of a mainstay in Tokyo ramen. What makes this one stand out?


Look at that menma! Pickled bamboo shoot does not apply as a proper translation here. The thing is a brick; and there are two more buried under all those noodles. Quite excellent. Tougher than your average, but tender enough to eat without a fork and knife.


The soup is very fishy, a bit more than other tonkotsu gyokai shops. Those dark brown specs mean intense flavor.


A winner on the east side of Baba.


Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Takadanobaba 2-1-4
Closest station: Takadanobaba

Open 11:00-20:00


Anonymous said...

whats gyokai dude.... love the minimal style of the place.... sigh wish they were as passionate about things over here in the uk

Ramen Adventures said...

Gyokai 魚介 means seafood. Usually, at least with ramen, it means that heavy fish powder is mixed in or that the soup was made with a lot of dried fish. If you don't like fishy tastes, go easy on the gyokai.