Matador, the beef-only ramen out in East Tokyo's Kita-Senju district, is universally lauded as one of Tokyo's best bowls. No one else has succeeded so much with only beef bones. While other shops have tried, their soup ends up being too sweet, or too funky, or just plain bad.
So when the master decided to expand to a second shop, we were all a bit surprised at the choice. Instead of another beef-centric style, maybe a tsukemen or a mazesoba, he went with miso.
Miso! Miso is the one type that has more utter disappointments than successes in Japan. It is also the type that I hate reviewing the most. Why? Because most people love the average bowl. And when you criticize something people love, people stop inviting you out.
Obviously there were high expectations here.
And Matador's miso delivered. The secret blend of misos (shhhh, it is white miso from Kyoto and red miso from Nagano) are just the beginning. Of course, the eye immediately sees that meat; a massive piece of roasted beef rib chashu (aha! they did put some beef in this one). Underneath the beef is a silky chunk of prime fat. The master, Iwata-san, explained that you should immediately exhale after eating this piece. The creamy, fatty フーーーー of you breath is more sensation than taste.
But wait, there's more. Also on the menu is a shoyu-koji ramen. Koji had a bit of a boom last year, and was gone before you could wikipedia what it was. A fermented blend of rice and shoyu, it fits with the miso theme. The taste is almost miso-light.
Nice shop, too. A basement floor has enough seating to keep the lines shorter than they could be.
Check out the video I made!
Tokyo, Adachi-ku, Senjuashicho 43-13
Closest station: Kita-Senju
Open 11:30-15:00, 18:00-22:30