Thursday, June 22, 2017

みつヰ (Mitsui in Asakusa)

麺 みつヰ

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Mitsui is located down a small, quiet alley in otherwise crowded Asakusa. Asakusa has, with the massive increase of tourism in Japan, become a bit crazy. New hotels, both corporate and boutique, provide hundreds more beds a night in this famous part of town on Tokyo's east side.

I'm a west side guy, so I don't make it out too often, but every time seems to be crazier.

I hate sending people to ramen shops that have a huge line of foreigners and English menus, so finding Mitsui was a blessing.

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The shop serves Kitakata-style ramen, made famous in Tokyo at Shichisai. In fact, this shop has a direct connection to them, with the hand-massaged noodles being a big point.

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Shio or shoyu. Both are light and refreshing.

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The noodles are pressed by hand before boiling, and have a chewier texture than ones that weren't given the five-star treatment.

Everyone who visits Japan should try this style, it's often an eye-opening meal. Simple ingredients with deep flavor. I can't think of many shops as close to the tourism center of Tokyo that bring this level of slurp.

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Official site here.

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Map of 2 Chome-10-4 Nishiasakusa, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0035

東京都台東区西浅草2-10-4
Tokyo, Taito-ku, Nishiasakusa 2-10-4
Closest station: Asakusa

Open 11:00-14:30, 17:30-21:00
Weekends 11:00-16:00
Closed Mondays

Monday, June 19, 2017

らーめん 改 (Kai in Kuramae)

らーめん 改

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There are many mini trends in the Tokyo ramen world, and this year one of those is clams. Sure, long-standing favorites Hototogisu and Mugitooribu have incorporated a clam broth into their soup, and newer Sora as well, but there are more.

Clams give a wonderful umami aftertaste, and whether you go full on shellfish, or just use it as an accent, this is a trend I am behind.

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Kai serves a few bowls, but the one that put the new shop on the map is their clam salt ramen - 貝塩らーめん.

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The master takes Japanese little neck clams (アサリ) as a base, and adds mussels (ムール貝) and scallops (ホタテ) as an accent. This triple shellfish broth is enough to send anyone with an allergy straight to the emergency room.

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Topped with simple, legit toppings, Kai is one to watch.

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I noticed on the side of the ticket machine, they have many, many limited bowls. Clam Chowder Ramen? Yes, please!

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This was for one of my ramen tours, and everyone came away a winner.

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For those who follow my site, be aware that this is a new shop that hasn't blown up yet, so the line is only set to get longer. Enjoy.

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Map of 4 Chome-20-10 Kuramae, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 111-0051

東京都台東区蔵前4-20-10
Tokyo, Taito-ku, Kuramae 4-20-12
Closest station: Kuramae

Open 11:00-15:00, 17:30-21:00
Closed Mondays

Thursday, June 15, 2017

進化 (Shinka in Machida)

町田汁場 しおらーめん進化 町田駅前店

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Shinka is one of Machida's most revered shops. But, for some reason, when they opened a second shop, they did so only about one kilometer away. Hunh?

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Well, this newer one is technically closer to the station, so I guess that is cool.

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Same great chicken ramen flavored with a Japanese salt blend. Very high quality.

Shinka is very popular among ramen chefs. If you want to know where ramen chefs eat ramen, Shinka is on that list.

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Upon further inspection, they have a 淡口醤油 - light soy sauce ramen - that is only at this branch. I may have to come back for that some day, even though this is one of Tokyo's best shio bowls.

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Expect a short line up the stairs to the second floor shop.

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Map of 1 Chome-12-13 Morino, Machida-shi, Tōkyō-to 194-0022

東京都町田市森野1-12-13
Tokyo, Machida-shi, Morino 1-12-13
Closest station: Machida

Open 11:00-15:00, 17:30-22:00

Monday, June 12, 2017

おやじ (Oyaji in Sagamihara)

ラーメンおやじ 本店

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Oyaji in Machida is one of the best miso ramen shops in town. But, actually, the Machida branch is just that, a branch. I finally, about six years later, made it to their main shop.

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The menu has a few options, but you should go for the おやじ麺 - oyajimen - on your first time.  Or go spicy. Or special if you want all the toppings.

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As with most ramen shops, the upper left button on the ticket machine is the winner.

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So good. The miso is blended with lard to give it a creamy, rich aspect. Simple toppings to match the complex soup.

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They make their original miso blend onsite, and if you are lucky enough you can catch them doing it.

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The sign says "Feel free to take photos of us making the miso." Unfortunately, they weren't doing it when I was there.

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I didn't sense a difference from their Machida shop, which might be more convenient.

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Map of 1 Chome-3-1 Chūō, Chūō-ku, Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa-ken 252-0239

神奈川県相模原市中央区中央1-3-1
Kanagawa-ken, Sagamihara-shi, Chuo-ku, Chuo 1-3-1
Closest station: Sagamihara

Open 10:30-1:00am

Thursday, June 8, 2017

二代目 げんこつ屋 (Genkotsuya at the Shin-Yohokama Raumen Museum)

二代目 げんこつ屋

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We crushed a bowl at newly opened Yuji Ramen at the Shin Yokohama Raumen Museum, but I was with some ramen beasts and we had room for another.

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Of the shops here, the only one I hadn't been to was Genkotsuya. Easy choice.

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They use this ancient noodle machine that cuts the noodles very short. If you are lucky, you can see them running it. We weren't so lucky.

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It's a heavy broth made with chicken, pork, and tuna. Really tender chashu!

I didn't make a video, but the fine folks at the museum did. Check it out!



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Map of 2 Chome-14-21 Shinyokohama, Kōhoku-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken 222-0033

神奈川県横浜市港北区新横浜2-14-21 新横浜ラーメン博物館
Kanagawa-ken, Yokohama-shi, Minatokita-ku, Shinyokohama 2-14-21
Closest station: Shin-Yokohama

Open 11:00-22:00
Saturday 11:00-22:30
Sunday 10:30-22:00

Monday, June 5, 2017

YUJI at the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum

YUJI RAMEN

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Straight from Brooklyn comes Yuji Ramen!



This new shop at the Yokohama Raumen Museum brings something unique.

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Yuji Haraguchi has a history in the fish selling industry, and he wanted to make food that utilizes the waste, namely all the fish bones that get thrown out. Soup is a perfect choice, and tuna heads and bones can be had on the cheap.

He also serves up a few mazesoba dishes. Yuji made his name doing a mazesoba popup in Whole Foods back in New York. The Bacon and Egg soba is the bomb.

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Please watch my YouTube video for more, I didn't really take any photos this time around.

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Official site here.

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Map of 2 Chome-14-21 Shinyokohama, Kōhoku-ku, Yokohama-shi, Kanagawa-ken 222-0033

神奈川県横浜市港北区新横浜2-14-21 新横浜ラーメン博物館
Kanagawa-ken, Yokohama-shi, Minatokita-ku, Shinyokohama 2-14-21
Closest station: Shin-Yokohama

Open 11:00-22:00
Saturday 11:00-22:30
Sunday 10:30-22:00

Thursday, June 1, 2017

さんじ (Sanji in Ueno)

さんじ

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One valuable resource for hot new shops is Instagram, and the feed on my 'gram was blowing up with photos from Sanji. I made it a point to go as soon as possible.

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Well, I really wanted to try their Crazy Crab bowl, but then I showed up to this sign. Today we are serving duck soba only.

Oh well, I'll give it a try.

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Hinomaru Sanji is their Friday-only, duck shop.

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Tasty.

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I wasn't blown away, but it was a decent slurp to say the least.

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I bought a sticker on the way out. See you again soon!

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Soon came much sooner than I thought.

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I've recently started doing tours through Airbnb, The concept of this one is Ramen Adventures, and we visit two shops that I've never been to. Travelers get to experience life as a ramen blogger. A perfect chance to head back to Sanji.

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Yes! This one was amazing.

The soup is a creamy pork broth with shoyu as the main seasoning. A crab flavored oil coats everything, giving it an ocean taste that isn't too fishy. We rarely see crab in ramen, and this unexpected flavor was a hit to the senses.

Topped with rare chashu and some quail eggs. You can top it with extra quail eggs - うずら - for 50 yen a piece. Some people had five or six. Go as big as you want, each one is a flavor bomb.

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Glad I came back!

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Map of 3 Chome-25-12 Higashiueno, Taitō-ku, Tōkyō-to 110-0015

東京都台東区東上野3-25-12
Tokyo, Taito-ku, Higashiueno 3-25-12
Closest station: Ueno

Open 11:00-15:00, 18:00-21:00
Saturday 11:00-15:00
Closed Sundays