My work takes me up to Niigata a couple times a year, and I always use the opportunity to try some great bowls. Unfortunately, Niigata is vast, and the use of a personal car to get around to the best ramen shops is a must. Fortunately, I have a friend who lives up there, and he was happy to take me out for a quick bowl.
Life has three main items; a rich tonkotsu gyokai bowl, a light style made with chicken and fish, and a heavier version of the light style. I'm a huge tonkotsu gyokai fan, so I went with the upper left on the ticket machine, plus an egg.
Your typical awesome bowl. This style, when done right, is so good. Bits of dried fish stick to every slurp, and the taste is powerful but not overpowering.
The toppings, slow cooked chashu and a great egg, were what put this one onto my recommended list.
The other charm is that this is, in every way, a countryside ramen shop. There is seating for the whole family, cute toys scattered around the place, and a very lived-in vibe.
The autographs caught my eye. El Dorado? Is it the same El Dorado that I know and love? The home base of the Jiraigen Syndicate, the guys behind Saikoro?
You bet! Small world this ramen universe is.
Niigata-ken, Nagaoka-shi, Niibo 4-7-12
Closest station: Kita-Nagaoka
Open 11:00-14:30, 17:30-21:00
Sundays 11:00-15:00, 17:00-21:00