Thursday, February 6, 2014

燈郎 (Toro in Shin Koiwa)



Ah . . . Jiro-kei. I'm sorry, this is actually Jiro-insupaia-kei. I don't understand the details of the difference, but apparently there is one between Jiro-style and Jiro inspired-style.


Regardless of nomenclature, this is a mega-popular shop. The second brand of nearby Itto, Toro (燈郎) is a play on the Japanese characters from Itto (一燈) and Jiro (二郎). Get what they did there?


The relatively new shop has been accepted by just about everyone in the know.


I'm admittedly not a fan of Jiro, or Jiro-kei, or Jiro-insupai-kei, but this one worked for me, thanks to some of the best pork east of the Tama river. Completely infused with whatever soy sauce mixture they cooked it in, this chashu falls apart with the slightest touch of your chopsticks.


But wait, there's more. The shop is known for another meat topping; steak! For a few hundred yen more, you can get an entire steak to go with your ramen. Arteries be damned!


Another plus here at Toro is that you can get a mini size bowl. 150g of noodles is hardly mini, but considering most Jiro, Jiro-kei, and Jiro-insupai-kei give you at least 300g, this is a big point for those with normal size appetites.


I've eaten a lot of Jiro style, and I always say that I don't like it, but then recommend the shop anyways. Just realize that this is an intense style of ramen that would probably be a huge hit in any college town in America, if it weren't for all the health code violations.


Official Site Here

Tokyo, Katsushikaku, Higashishinkoiwa
Closest station: Shinkoiwa

Open 11:00-15:00, 18:00-23:00
Closed Tuesdays


Anonymous said...

Not at all fluent in japanese, but I'm learning. I was just wondering: why is ramen sometimes written using katakana and sometimes hiragana?

Robert Sullivan said...

I believe "raa" is a foreign word, so it is written in katakana. "Men" is the Japanese word for noodles, so it is written in hiragana, or kanji. But then again, you can see ramen written all in katakana, in katakana/hiragana, or all hiragana. Maybe it is just up to the restauranteur's taste!

Marie Harada said...

My brother is a ramen chef at a Jiro-insupaia-kei ramen shop in Morioka.
From what I heard, if you trained in one of Jiro chain shops before opening your own ramen shop, you can call your ramen as "Jiro-kei."
"Jiro-insupaia-kei" means those ramen shops that are influenced by Jiro style and serves similar ramen but the chefs never trained in actual Jiro chain.

Brian said...

Thanks for the info Marie!