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Travel 3 minutes 08 October 2017

Japan Food Guide: Where You Should Be Eating Ramen in Tokyo

10 Michelin-recommended Japanese ramenyas for your ramen fix.

Japan ramen Travel

If you are going to Tokyo, you are going to want ramen. But the city's ramen scene is truly vast, encompassing a range of local styles, like shoyu and tsukemen, as well as regional variations, from tonkotsu to miso. Tokyo is estimated to be home to over 10,000 ramenyas and that can be pretty daunting if you're planning a a short trip.

So if you need some help navigating the labyrinth of noodles and hot soup, here are ten Michelin-recommended restaurants to get you started.
TSUTA
Awarded: Michelin Star 

We may be lucky enough to have Tsuta open not one but two branches on our island but nothing beats visiting the shop that started it all.

What our inspectors say: The triple soup is made from vegetables, chicken, clams and seafood and offers a balance of umami and richness. The base ingredients are Jukusei Nama age Shoyu matured for two years and dashi from beef or clams. Mongolian saltwater or mineral-rich Okinawan salt is added to wheat to prepare the noodles. ‘Shoyu Soba’ features the fragrance of soy sauce and truffles and the flavours fills your mouth, leaving a sweet, pleasant aftertaste.

1-14-1 Sugamo, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 11:00-17:00 or until the stock runs out, closed on Wednesdays 


Nakiryu is renowned for its Dandan noodles, a spicy dish that originates from Chinese Sichuan cuisine
Nakiryu is renowned for its Dandan noodles, a spicy dish that originates from Chinese Sichuan cuisine
NAKIRYU
Awarded: Michelin Star

What our inspectors say: The soups are made primarily with whole chicken and ingredients like beef bones, vegetables, dried fish and even a lavish helping of raw oysters. The ultra-thin tantanmen noodles have a distinctive sesame flavour and are made with little water and no eggs. The rich and fragrant soy sauce ramen features flat noodles of medium thickness with a good texture. Also popular are the roasted pork loin and slow-roasted pork shoulder fillet.

2-34-4 Minamiotsuka, Toshima-ku Tokyo
Opening hours: 11.30am to 3pm for lunch and 6pm to 9pm for dinner. No dinner service on Mondays and closed on Tuesdays.
Tanako's signature shoyu chuka soba
Tanako's signature shoyu chuka soba

TANAKO
Awarded: Bib Gourmand

Handmade wholewheat noodles in a delicate niboshi shoyu ramen. The basic chuka soba combines rich Akita free-range chicken with sweet niboshi (dried sardines), making for a full-flavoured broth that's not too greasy. You can look no further if you're looking for a prime example of the Tokyo shoyu-style ramen.

2-15-10 Nakanobu, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 11.30am to 2.30pm daily or until the stock runs out. Closed on Wednesdays.


ICHIFUKU
Awarded: Bib Gourmand

Helmed by a female chef, Ichifuku is a new Bib Gourmand ramen shop entrant in the Michelin Guide Tokyo 2017. For over 20 years, tucked in a nostalgic back alley just minutes away from the buzzing Shinjuku, Ichifuku has been ladling bowls of miso-based ramen to customers.

2-17-14 Honmachi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 11.30am to 3pm or when stock runs out


Set in Tokyo's Giza district is ramenya Mugi to Olive
Set in Tokyo's Giza district is ramenya Mugi to Olive

MUGI TO OLIVE
Awarded: Bib Gourmand

This ramenya is so named for its use of olive oil in its ramen. Customers are encouraged to add a splash of olive oil to the broth once they are halfway through the ramen are a extra depth of flavour.

Mugi To Olive serves three types of shoyu soup: one made with niboshi, one with hamaguri clams and another with chicken. Ramen is available in any of these varieties, or you can order a "triple soba" option that comes with a mix of all three.

6-12-12 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 11.30 to 10pm or when stock runs out on weekdays. 11.30pm to 9pm on Saturdays and holidays.


GOTTSU
Awarded: Bib Gourmand

Located just a few minutes' walk from Nerima station is Ramen Gottsu. The gyokai broth is made from flying fish among other seafood, and has a super smooth mouthfeel.

1-29-16 Nerima, Nerima-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 11am to 3pm for lunch and 6pm to 9pm for dinner, daily. Closed on Sundays.

Shoyu-based duck ramen from Yamaguchi
Shoyu-based duck ramen from Yamaguchi

YAMAGUCHI
Awarded: Bib Gourmand

It's been awarded a Bib Gourmand for three years running. And while the bowl is a tad pricey for Japanese ramen at ¥830 a bowl, the price tag isn't unjustified. The broth is simmered down with Aizu Jigamo, a prized breed of Japanese duck.

2-11-13 Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 11.30am to 3pm for lunch, 5.30pm to 9pm for dinner on weekdays. 11.30am to 9pm on weekends and holidays.


MENSON RAGE
Awarded: Bib Gourmand

In both style and substance, the laidback shop helmed by two young chefs represents the next generation of Tokyo's ramenyas. Menson Rage offers a choice of three ramen types: shamo soba, (a chicken-based shoyu ramen), niboshi ramen and maze-soba. All three are excellent, but the shamo soba is Menson Rage's most popular bowl.

3-37-22 Shoan, Suginami-ku, Tokyo
Opening hours: 11am to 3pm or when stock runs out for lunch, daily. 6pm to 9pm for dinner, Tues to Sun. Closed for dinner service on Mondays.

Tori-paitan soba, one of two styles of ramen noodles served at Kagari
Tori-paitan soba, one of two styles of ramen noodles served at Kagari

KAGARI
Awarded: Bib Gourmand

Located down an unmarked alley in the middle of Tokyo's Ginza district is the Kagari ramenya. Search tip: if you spot a snaking queue, you're probably on the right track. Kagari offers its ramen in two very contrasting styles. The tori-paitan soba is served in a luscious, thick soup the colour and consistency of creamed corn and the niboshi-shoyu soba, a dark, soy-based broth made from dried sardines.

4-4-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku Tokyo
Opening hours: 11am to 3.30pm for lunch, 5.30pm to 10.20om for dinner, daily. Closed for lunch on Saturdays and holidays.


SHINOHARA
Awarded: Bib Gourmand

Lying a couple of minutes from Kanamecho station in the western part of Tokyo is Shinohara. The ramenya serves up three different bowls: shoyu, dashi and red sea bream. The latter is the real star. The tare used for the ramen is a mix of soy sauce and red sea bream oil, which really sings with flavours of the sea.

3-1-4 Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku
Opening hours: 11.30 to 2.30pm for lunch, 6pm to 9pm for dinner.


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