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Ordering the Perfect Ramen: Vegan Ramen and Tsukemen
Ramen. Once you find your favorite kind, it can become something of a habit. But as delicious as it is, sometimes you may feel like you’re getting stuck in a rut with always ordering the same old thing. That’s why in this edition of Ordering the Perfect Ramen, we’ll introduce you to four ramen shops whose unusual fare is guaranteed to shake up your ramen routine!
#1 Soranoiro Japanese soup noodle free style
When lunch time rolls around on a weekday, it’s not surprising to see people lining up outside the door of Soranoiro, a ramen shop that was awarded a place in the 2015 Tokyo Michelin Guide. While anything on the menu created by owner Chihiro Miyazaki is delicious, there’s one particular ramen that steals the spotlight: the vegan veggie soba. Everything from the soup to the toppings used in this unique ramen is made of veggies; even the noodles are made with ground red pepper, giving them a cheery orange color. Unlike any ramen you’ve tried before, you’ll be back before you know it!
The vegan veggie soba. The noodles, the soup, all the toppings– everything is made from vegetables. 1,100 yen.
The red pepper noodles combined with the veggie soup base made from onion, cabbage, and carrot make for a ramen experience unlike any other.
Chihiro recommends blending the mashed potatoes and yuzu-kosho (a type of fermented condiment containing yuzu peel, chili pepers, and salt) into the soup a little at a time to bring out its sweetness. Also, they have brown rice noodles for patrons looking for a gluten-free option.
Address: Blue Bldg. Main Bldg. 1B
1-3-10 Hirakawa-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:00am~3:30pm | 6:00pm~10:00pm (L.O.)
Sat & Sun 11:00am~5:00pm (L.O.)
National holidays 11:00am~9:00pm (L.O.)
Closed every first Sunday of the month.
※ Please note that the shop may close early should they run out of soup or noodles
Website: http://soranoiro.towapla.jp (Japanese only)
#2 Gonokami Seisakusho
In Shinjuku, the competition among ramen shops can be fierce. But even in this battleground, there is one shop that never fails to draw a long line of hungry patrons to its door. What are they waiting for? Manager Hidetoshi Suzuki’s tsukemen. You can think of tsukemen as a kind of DIY ramen; you get noodles in one bowl and soup and toppings in the other. Dip the noodles in the soup and enjoy!
While working at a western-style restaurant, Hidetoshi met the friend with whom he eventually opened his ramen shop.
The Ebi Tsukemen. Dip your noodles in this thick shrimp-based soup and enjoy. 800 yen.
The soup is made with plenty of shrimp which gives it rich flavor.
The portion size of the noodles here is pretty generous, so feel free to ask for a komori,(小盛り),meaning a half-size serving. Bonus: if you order a half-size portion, you get an extra topping on the house!
Address: Chatelet Shinjuku Gyoen Bldg. 1 1F
5-33-16 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open seven days a week
#3 Dotonbori Kamukura (Shinjuku Location)
If you’re looking for a really unique bowl of ramen, try Dotonbori Kamukura in Shinjuku. While the ingredients of their soup are a closely guarded secret, we can tell you that French culinary techniques are used in producing the shop's signature smooth, mellow flavor. One of the chef’s responsible for producing this scrumptious soup is Manato Homan who has been working at Dotonbori Kamukura since he moved from Niigata Prefecture to Tokyo eight years ago.
Not only is Manato is a star in the kitchen, he used to be a professional boxer as well. No wonder his ramen packs a punch!
The Oishii Ramen. Topped with a generous portion of Chinese cabbage and pork belly, this ramen lives up to its name (oishii = delicious). 730 yen.
According to Honma, the Chinese cabbage and the pork combine to give the ramen natural sweetness and depth.
With counter seating on the first floor and tatami mat seating on the second, Dotonbori Kamukura in Shinjuku has a total of 69 seats! They also have menus available in four different languages so you can order with confidence.
Address: 1-14-1 Kabukicho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Hours: open 24hrs, seven days a week
※ Please note that the shop is closed on Mondays from 8:00am to 11:00am for maintenance.
Website: http://www.kamukura.co.jp/index.php (Japanese only)
Fu-unji owes its popularity largely to two things: its delectable blend of chicken and seafood soup and the skill of its store manager, Shigeyuki. Without a single wasted movement or forgetting about customer service, he serves up amazing tsukemen in a flash. If you want a full service ramen experience, then this is the place for you.
A masterful multitasker, Shigeyuki makes small talk with his customers as he drains some noodles.
The Tokusei Tsukemen. The thick soup is made from a blend of chicken broth made from carefully chosen meat and bone as well as dried bonito flakes. 1,000 yen.
In addition to the outstanding soup, careful attention is given to the thick noodles as well. They’re cooked until they’re just al dente.
Shigeyuki recommends mixing the scoop of fish meal in the center of the bowl into the soup a little at a time to bring out an even deeper flavor.
Address: Hokuto Bldg. No. 1 1F
2-14-3 Roppongi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 11:00am～3:00pm | 5:00pm～9:00pm
※ Please note that the store may close early should they run out of soup
Closed Sundays and national holidays
Website: http://fu-unji.com/index.html (Japanese only)
Have your cravings for unique ramen been satisfied? Is there another ramen shop that you think should have made our list? Let us know in the comments!
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THIS ARTICLE IS BASED ON INFORMATION FROM 01 29,2016 Author：DiGJAPAN! Editorial Team
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