The first bowl of tsukemen was so satisfying, I decided to go for another bowl. This time, the ramen they’re actually famous for! I opted for the Shoyu soba (醤油そば). Soup base was shiro shoyu (white soy sauce), chicken, and niboshi (dried sardines). Very well-balanced. No one element of the soup was too overpowering or “shitsukoi” (annoying/noisy in Japanese). Nice undercurrent umami from the niboshi without the usual strong fishiness. The flavour of the shoyu balanced well with the dashi. Charsiu was good, with a tender bite and nice pinkness (slow cooked at low temperature). Mitsuba greens, menma, nori. All went well with the soup. Noodles were straight, thin and boiled to an appropriate bite. Nice and a bit slippery, went down well.
There’s just too much good ramen around. The trend of lighter soup bases is going very strong and I love it! I’m all for jiro-kei ramen but sometimes you just don’t want to destroy your stomach for the next 3 days with an industrial-strength bowl.
#koseik_tokyo #koseik_ramen #ラーメンインスタグラマー
Tōkyōtokitaku Nishigahara 1 – 1 – 15
Browsing my favourite ramen ranking (not tabelog), found a solid place near Shibuya where I was staying. A good choice. I love me some standard gyokai/chicken etc soup tsukemen but I also enjoy it when the master chef experiments and expands their horizons a bit, and this winter 2015 exclusive item was different. You see this style quite a bit in Tokyo these days, with places like Japanese Soba Noodles 蔦 (of recent 1-Michelin star fame, something I’m still scratching my head about), where the standard soup base is Shio/shoyu and that’s their famous bowl. But then, they’re always much more than that, because they always offer fantastic seasonal dishes like this Miso Tsukesoba. Hatcho miso (pure soy bean miso) is the base, with saikyo miso and mugi miso (barley miso) blended in. The base dashi, niboshi dried sardines with dried hoshi ebi shrimps. The result, a deeply rich and thick broth which tasted strongly to me of a thick aka (red) miso soup. Then, those superbly chewy noodles which didn’t lose to the intense broth. Toppings wise, tender pieces of duck charsiu, menma, shungiku (chrysanthemum greens) and a pleasantly surprisingly piece of syrup sweetened kinkan (kumquat), a winter treat in Japan. And can’t forget the excellent ajitama here. Solid all around.
#koseik_tokyo #koseik_ramen #ラーメン #つけ麺 #ラーメンインスタグラマー
Tōkyōtokitaku Nishigahara 1 – 1 – 15
饗 くろ喜 ー Motenashi Kuroki . The highly ranked and popular ramen – ya near Akihabara (though Asakusabashi station is closer if you’re going by train). Not to be mistaken with Murasaki Kuroki 紫くろ喜 the concept store selling duck soup base shoyu ramen that they transform into every Friday only . The standard ramen here is their shio clear soup base , which is what I got , but Kuroki is famed for always changing things up and offering special ramen , hiyashi chuka and some forms of mazemen (when I visited last week it was their take on tantan men , a soup – less version) . Back to the shio 特製塩 そ ば I got – visually beautiful . Moritsuke , or the plating, is definitely something they pay attention to. The soup itself , like any shio base, is clear, but the amber tone of the soup was again beautiful . Soup – wise , the heavy chicken (whole carcass , chicken bones and meat) with supporting pork bones Complementing the chicken and pork konbu, roasted Ago fish, and 節系 (I guess katsuo and saba). Then, a blend of 6 different salts are also added. The process of making this broth must be intense. What it all adds up to is a soup which is light texturally on first sip, but depth of flavour and umami. Noodles – you get an option of thin or wide – I chose thin , the default option . The noodles were thin straight , with good bite . Matched well with the soup . Toppings – roast charsi , chicken chars , half boiled egg , fried gobo , komatsuna ( Japanese mustard spinach ) and a shrimp wonton. All executed with quality expected of a chef formerly trained in a ryotei 米特 , as well as in Italian and French . Some may find this bowl of shio soba doesn’t fit their expectation of a bowl of ramen being something heavy and intense , but for me it was a balanced , elegant bowl which I thoroughly slurped.
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