Sunday, December 20, 2020

喜元門 本店 (Kigenmon in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture)

 喜元門 本店

One of the highest-ranked shops in Ibaraki Prefecture is Kigenmon. Not only did Ramen Walker give them "legend" status, but the Tabelog gave them a spot on their best 100 ramen shops in East Japan. They have a decent 90/100 rating on the Ramen Databank as well. I was surprised, this bowl fell flat for me.

Spring in Japan is a wonderful time for flowers.

The menu at Kigenmon is deep, with about a dozen different styles. I asked what they recommend and they gave me the vague answer, "Customers who like thick ramen get the thicker stuff and customers who like lighter ramen get the lighter stuff." Not really the right answer for me. I followed up with an inquiry about which item is the most popular, but was met with more of the same.

Thick fish broth (濃厚魚出汁) ramen. In doing my post-slurp research, I should have ordered the Shinku soba (真空そば). Shinku means vacuum. The soup is cooked in a vacuum pot to maximize flavors somehow.

You can also choose from four kinds of chashu. 炭焼き for charcoal grilled. バラ巻き is a big fatty rolled piece. 直火焼き cooked over an open flame. 低温調理 is the sous vide we all know and love.

Plenty of food magazines, all praising the place.

The shop is fairly convenient, with three or four branches in the area. If you go, get the correct bowl and also get every chashu topping. The pork was good.

Official site here.

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