Ramen galore! This post contains miscellaneous ramen shops that I have eaten in Japan but too lazy to write a full blogpost for.
麺屋 七福神 堀川御池店
Nijo Castle (Nijo-jo) is an unmissable sightseeing spot if you’re visiting Kyoto. Right across the Nijo Castle is a great stop for ramen before walking in the really cool and big castle.
The combo meal came with their signature pork charsiu with fried gyoza and a bowl of steamed rice. The ramen was made in-house and shio pock stock was rich and sticky with collagen. Their other signature hamaguri ramen was not available (we arrived at 9 am).
The soup was full of umami. It was fantastic that they gave the bowl of rice to dump into whatever soup that was left after you ate the noodles. They are so confident that you would finish the soup to the very last drop.
Shichifukujin 麺屋 七福神 堀川御池店
Japan, 〒604-0054 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Nakagyo Ward,
めん徳 二代目 つじ田
This Kojimachi shop is very popular for their “dipping style” ramen, but their soup ramen was equally fantastic. Besides the usual charsiu, they provided slices of roasted pork belly that melted in your mouth. The soup is a very thick miso pork soup.
The shop is very small, sits only 8 customers at any one seating. But thanks to the well-mannered Japanese, everything proceeded with super-high efficiency – buy your coupons at the vending machine outside the shops, queue for your turn, give your ticket to the waitress who will shout your order over the counter, and then wait for the deliciousness to arrive.
Mentokunidaime Tsujita Koujimachiten めん徳 二代目 つじ田 麹町店
１丁目-4-11 Hirakawachō, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō-to 102-0093, Japan
IBUKI – つけめん DINING-
IBUKI Tsukemen specialises in flat, hirauchi style noodles, and these were chewier, stickier, and more filling than your standard ramen. They paired well with the thick, curry-infused broth, though I could have used more curry and less of the usual pork bone and bonito gyokai tonkotsu mix.
More than just ramen, though, IBUKI is a chill spot to lounge. It’s close to many performance halls and traditional dance theatres in the area, and their menu is huge and eclectic, with lots of vegetable offerings. It’s a little expensive, but you can enjoy the quaint cafe atmosphere of the place long after you’ve slurped your bowl.
IBUKI Tsukemen Dining IBUKI -つけめんDINING-
1-5-4 Koji-machi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 102-0083
The bold seafood flavor of Setagaya’s broth keeps people coming back again and again. A rare seafood broth made with plenty of dried boiled round herring is boiled together with a rich broth packed with animal-based collagen. Kelp and bonito flakes are added so that the broth soaks up their savory flavor. The proprietor’s pride and joy is finished off with our special kaeshi made with Shimousa soy sauce aged over three years.
With just the right combination of smoothness and chewiness, Setagaya’s flat noodles are made from a unique blend of 100% domestically grown wheat including Kinu-akari, a rare wheat from Aichi Prefecture that can only be harvested in small quantities. We use only the center of the wheat to achieve a perfect golden color with minimal discoloration and husks (outer coating).
Our char siu pork is made from cheek meat, a rare cut of which only 10 pieces can be taken from each pig. This tender meat with just the right amount of fat goes perfectly with our ramen.
Setagaya Ramen Haneda せたが屋 羽田国際空港店
4F Haneda Airport Internatinal Terminal Edo-Komichi
2-6-5 Haneda International Airport, Ota-ku, Tokyo
〒144-0041 東京都大田区羽田空港2-6-5 羽田空港 (HND)
What would a champion ramen taste like? This is what you would get at Hihonno Chuka Soba Tomita. Read a full review of the place here.
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
Ichiran has become a must-go tourist destination, and now you can buy home their instant noodles version. Trust me, I have bought some, it was really good, better than your Maggi instant noodles.
Here’s the link to the full blog post for the Shinjuku branch near the Godzilla.
一蘭ラーメン Ichiran Ramen
Branches all over Japan.
This is not exactly ramen, but Kyoto is famous for soba and udon more than ramen. Gion Gonbe is located right in the busiest part of Gion. Opened in 1927, this very old and established eatery is little known among the tourist as the locals guarded the secret restaurant carefully. Many would have missed this because of the must more famous Michelin restaurant directly opposite this unassuming shopfront.
It only sells udon and donburi. Everything is so simple but packed with umami. Even the decor had not changed in the last 90 years. You open the door, the usual greeting, and then you are ushered to your tatami seat. No tables and chairs, just tatami and low tables.
Once they realised that you are a Gaijin, you will be presented with a menu with translation into English, Korean and Chinese. They can understand your order in English if you speak slowly. We ordered a tempura udon. The tempura was OK, but it was the al dente udon and soup combination that stole the limelight. The really clear and seemingly boring soup was made with their own secret dashi だし（湯汁）was so packed with flavour and umami.
The same dashi was used to make the scrambled egg used to top the other order of donburi udon. Perfect. We left satisfied that we stumbled on this local eatery.
祇園 権兵衛 （ごんべえ） Gion Gonbe
Japan, 〒605-0073 Kyoto Prefecture, 京都市東山区祇園町北側２５４
Soba near office
And again this is not exactly ramen, but soba. This happened to be my favourite breakfast place where you can get a zaru soba (cold soba noodles with dip) for only ¥280. For another ¥300 upgrade, you get a couple of pieces of tempura, and for another ¥100, you get double portion of soba. What a complete and filling breakfast!