Do you know about the shop said to be Japan’s best ramen restaurant? That would be “Chuka Soba Tomita,” in Chiba Prefecture’s Matsuko City. Now it’s available in Narita airport.
The original and main shop of Tomita is infamous for its 5+ hour long lines and relative inaccessibility as it is located in Matsudo in Chiba, around an hour and a half-train ride from central Tokyo. It is a famous shop among famous shops; Tomita has won the grand prize in TRY (Tokyo Ramen of the Year) for 4 consecutive years, has earned many victories at tournaments such as Dai Tsukemen Haku for being top-quality tsukemen, and has had its praises sung by many famous ramen critics.
Tomita is known for the tsukemen dipping-style ramen noodles. Out of all the offered varieties, the most highly recommended one is their “tokusei (special) tsukesoba,” which is their regular tsukesoba topped with a soft-boiled marinated egg, two slices of chashu, two slices of tendons, and four sheets of nori, so that is what I ordered. They also have shoyu ramen for those of you who prefer regular ramen.
The tsukemen dipping sauce was extremely rich and flavourful. The sauce was a perfect combination of fish and pork, with a hint of yuzu and freshness from green onions. Unfortunately, the nori has all but disintegrated into the sauce when it was served, and there wasn’t enough negi with the sauce.
It’s quite thick so it coated every noodle with its deliciousness. Although the sauce has a concentrated rich umami to it, it was still mellow (not “jelat” like most thick sauce). I do not know how to describe it – it’s not lor mee, which was overwhelming with 5 spice and star anise; it’s not curry, none of that spiciness. It’s unique on its own.
The noodles themselves were a bit of let-down. While they’re cooked al dente and springy with a great chew, it was cold and stuck together when served. The chashu pieces were saving-grace, in particular the tendons. They do not serve the half-cooked version of the charsiu, I reckoned strict health and hygiene codes in the airport prohibited that.
For added kick, you may want to order a portion of the spicy minced pork to add to the noodles for that fiery taste. It’s like ordering ordering mee pok dry with chilli.
It’s like ordering ordering mee pok dry with chilli.
At the end of the meal, you can ask for hot dashi soup to pour into your leftover tsukemen sauce that you can sip like a soup.
On its own without the broth, the dipping sauce is a bit too thick and salty but it mellows out delightfully with the addition of the dashi broth.
Don’t expect the same standard as the honten. But skipping the 5 hour wait, this shop will do just fine. Do expect a super-long queue during meal time as well. Just leave your name and the number of people on the waiting list. Maximum you can have in your party is 4. If you have a party of 4, you have to wait for the tables to clear, which can be rather long. You have better chance if you are alone.
Nihonno Chūka Soba Tomita 日本の中華そば 富田
Narita International Airport Terminal 1 Atrium 4F
〒286-0121 Chiba Prefecture, Narita, Komaino, 2159
第 一 ターミナル 中央 ビル 4 階 成田空港官庁合同庁舎
Date Visited : Jan 2019