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