Thursday, June 11, 2020

味噌っ子ふっく (Hook in Ogikubo, Tokyo)


Hook is a rookie-of-the-year miso spot out in Ogikubo. It is questionable about that rookie status though, as this used to be Kaede, another rookie-of-the-year. These shops are descendants of the Hanamichi family, considered the OG of Tokyo miso styles. As expected, the latest shop is excellent. Worthy of a trek along the Chuo Line in search of miso ramen.

Hanamichi was called the first Tokyo-style miso ramen shop, a claim with little to back it other than that the shop's physical location is in Tokyo. Every ramen publication uses the phrase, though in the world of writing dozens of ramen-only magazines a year, any adjective is a welcome adjective.

Thick noodles are an ideal match for the hearty soup. Is that what makes Tokyo-style miso? Thick straight noodles that would be at home in a bowl of heavy tsukemen? Or maybe it is the use of some moyashi bean sprouts as a topping. Jiro comes from Tokyo, and a mound of moyashi makes any bowls look like a Jiro clone.

Choices are simple. Miso ramen and spicy miso ramen on the menu at Hook. You do you, but I have to say that the spicy one is the way to go. The homemade chili oil is made from two kinds of chili and numbing sansho peppercorn. It isn't so spicy, to be honest.

Two kinds of miso, red miso from the Shinshu region (Nagano) and white miso from Sendai (a few hundred kilometers north of Tokyo).

Miso ramen (味噌らーめん) and spicy miso ramen (辛味噌らーめん). Miso ramen and spicy miso ramen with an egg. Simple stuff. They also have tantanmen on the menu, which looks like the miso with a helping of spicy ground pork and some sesame.

Official Twitter here.

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