3 Ramen Shops That You Must Try in Tokyo

Japan Ramen
Taishoken Honten Higashi-Ikebukuro (Source: Google)
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By Jocelyn Neo

Japan is well-known to travellers for its vast variety of delicious foods, including sushi, gyoza, yakiniku, and udon. But nothing beats slurping down a flavourful bowl of hot ramen.

But with thousands of ramen stores peppered throughout Tokyo, and stomach space on a tight budget, which ramen restaurants should you try?

Fret not! Here, we have selected three of the best ramen restaurants in Japan recommended by American foodie Mike Chen, who reviews dishes from around the world on his Strictly Dumpling YouTube channel.

Chen is notorious for his ability to polish off huge amounts of food at one go. Of course, after those hearty meals, he worked out a lot as well in order to maintain his weight.

If you don’t understand what we meant by “huge amount of food”, the first ramen restaurant that we are introducing will help us do the explanation.

1. Taishoken in Higashi-Ikebukuro, Tokyo

This is one of Tokyo’s most famous ramen restaurants. Its owner, Kazuo Yamagishi, invented tsukemen, or “dipping ramen”. Each mouthful of noodles is dipped into a separate bowl of soup–which is stronger and more flavourful than standard ramen broth–before being eaten.

This is what Chen has to say:

“Look at this massive bowl of beautiful, beautiful looking noodles. These noodles are thick, they’re chewy, they’re all fancy. I know this are [sic] going to be so, so good.

“This soup is not fatty at all. And it tastes very simple and yet complex at the same time.”

Having trouble visualising the taste? Well, you’ll have to try it to understand what he means!

For those like their ramen spicy, Chen recommends adding the restaurant’s hot oil condiment to the noodles to “elevate your ramen noodle experience even further”.

Website: http://www.tai-sho-ken.com/top.html

Address: 2 Chome-42-8 Minamiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tōkyō-to 171-0022, Japan


2. Michelin Star Ramen—Nakiryu in Toshima, Tokyo

What should you order at this Michelin Star restaurant? Of course, its number one bestseller: Tantanmen!

The broth alone already looks absolutely mouth-watering.

What does he think of the bestseller?

Chen says:

“This is really punchy and face-full of flavour. This is my type of broth and it’s so thick.”

And he even compares it to “how you should see the love of your life.”

“If you meet someone that hits all the connection points that this bowl of ramen gives you, you need to marry that person, like tomorrow.”

Does his description makes you want to fly to Japan just to try out this bowl of ramen now?

Website: http://www12.plala.or.jp/nakiryu/

Address: 〒170-0005 Tokyo, Toshima, Minamiotsuka, 2 Chome−34−4 SKY南大塚


3. Chuka Soba Tomita Ramen, Chiba Prefecture

This ramen shop has won the title of being the best in Japan, and is infamous for its tsukesoba.

Chen was completely in awe of the taste of this ramen:

“The noodle texture is so springy and chewy and it is almost unlike any other noodle I’ve ever had before.

“This broth, it’s a mixture I think, it tastes a little seafood, pork, and it’s so incredibly creamy and satisfying.

“The chashu might be the best piece of chashu I’ve ever had. That thing completely melts in your mouth. The smoky flavour is incredible; the outside is incredibly fatty, the inside is chewy.”

If you intend to try this ramen, be sure to reach the shop early to get a reservation ticket for your designated meal time, especially if you are planning to go during the weekends, when the wait for your slot can be as long as 5 hours.

Website: http://www.tomita-cocoro.jp/category/2/?mode=pc

Address: Japan, 〒271-0092 Chiba Prefecture, Matsudo, 1339 高橋ビル


Which of these three ramen stores will you plan to visit when you are in Japan? Or will you try them all?

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