Thursday, November 20, 2014

ずんどう屋 (Zundoya in Shinjuku)

ラー麺ずんどう屋 東京新宿店


I shy away from large chain shops, and cautiously approach the smaller ones. Zundoya could be classified as a mini-chain, with about a dozen shops in Kansai (Western Japan), a new shop in Tokyo, and a future shop in New York.


New York you say? 


Yep, with a shop opening in 2015 in the heart of Manhattan, Zundoya is setting their sights high. Could this be the Ippudo killer?

At first glance, the shop is very Ippudo-esque. A creamy tonkotsu soup, straight noodles, Kyushu-style toppings. Even the red bowls look to be aimed at Ippudo's style. But Zundoya is its own beast, pushed to another level by the addition of seabura, glistening globs of pork back fat. Choose your level.

Go strong. Ask for こってり味 - kotteri aji - for a big hit of fat. Or go for 背脂まみれ味 - seabura mamire aji - smeared with fat - if you want. 


For me, I was always surprised by the way Ippudo was received in America. In Japan, I'll casually walk into an Ippudo, grab a cheap bowl and a beer, and leave 15 minutes later being satisfied. The insanity of the New York Ippudo, with hour waits and high prices, never felt right.

Zundoya feels to me the same way. This is a bowl I could jump into anytime. No fussing. Just a solid bowl of ramen. Will it suffer the same fate / fortune as Ippudo? We'll know next year.



Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Kabukicho 2-39-3
Closest station: Shinjuku

Open 24/7/365

1 comment:

Parisbreakfasts said...

PLEASE tell them to open in Paris instead.
To heck with New York.
Why are there no noodle shops in Paris?