Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Best Ramen in Tokyo 2016

The Best Ramen in Tokyo of 2016

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These 14 shops are the definitive, best-of-the-best ramen shops in Tokyo in 2016.

Of course, I'm not being serious. The above was a one-day New Years pop up from Nishio that you will never be able to try, though they will probably have another one in January 2017. What I did was go through all my posts from 2016, a handful over 100 shops, and chose the ones that I consider true standouts. I have other, more organized best-of lists here and here, but this list could be considered a legit collection of must-crush bowls. I'll link to the individual reviews. Shops are in chronological order.


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1. 田なか Second (Tanaka Second in Akihabara)

Simply noodles and soup. If simple means abalone and spiny lobster, and noodles made with a touch of rice flour for a stronger texture.

*Edit from July, 2017*
Tanaka Second changed their menu, so you can no longer get this particular kakesoba.

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2. らぁめん小池 (Koike in Kamikitazawa)

Solid bowl with standout toppings, including an egg that has been soaked in katsuo broth.

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3. チョコひつじ (Chocolate Lamb Ramen at MENSHO TOKYO)

Sorry, another limited bowl. Lamb soup, fragrant spices, and bitter chocolate. Keep in mind that many shops to a Valentine's gentei; a limited bowl with chocolate.

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4. 金時 (Kintoki in Nerima)

Kintoki's light shio ramen is great, but I was blown away by their excellent tantanmen.

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5. やまぐち 辣式 (Yamaguchi Ratsushiki in Toyocho)

Another great spicy bowl. Yamaguchi's second shop had some big hot and numbing flavors.

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6. 麦苗 (Muginae in Omori)

Not sure if I should post this. Muginae was poised to be the rookie shop of the year, but they rejected all media, including magazine awards. One of the most premium bowls in Tokyo.

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7. 吉兆 (Kiccho in Oimachi)

An old school legend. Noodles made with bamboo poles, a technique almost nobody uses anymore.

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8. 麺や 七彩 (Shichisai in Hatchobori)

I've always loved Shichisai. Their new shop takes things to another level with handmade noodles. They literally mix flour and water in front of your eyes, and go from there.

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9. 伊吹 (Ibuki in Itabashi) - Review coming soon!

The king of niboshi lived up to all the hype. Rich, smoky, and slightly bitter.

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10. 豚野郎 (Butayaro in Nakano) - Review coming soon

Heavier-than-average tonkotsu. Instead of extra noodles, go for zosui, a rice dish to dump in the left over soup.

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11. 宮元 (Miyamoto in Kamata) - Review coming soon

Near-perfect execution of tsukemen. This style is abundant, but the big names you might have heard of are all franchises now. Miyamoto is legit.

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12. 風見 (Kazami in Ginza) - Review soon

Fancy ramen made with sake lees, a byproduct of sake fermentation. Another Ginza shop that came out of nowhere.

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13. 麺魚 (Mengyo in Kinshicho) - Review soon

Smoked chashu on a fish soup with a dashi-infused egg. This shop was the rookie shop of the year winner in multiple categories.