Yes, there can be not great ramen in Japan. There’s a chain in Tokyo called Ramen Jiro, which apparently is a good way to start your ramen tour in Tokyo if you’re trying to find the best ramen. I’d like to point out we first heard about this on a NY Times article about ramen (thanks Asta!). This article highlights finding the best (or local favorite) places for ramen. There are apparently blogs and serious ramen scholars dedicated to finding that perfect noodle. This article took some of those finds.
The ramen place is on the corner of a small alley, and is actually near some other fast food restaurants we like (Mos Burger, anyone?).
Like most ramen places, you go to the machine, put in some money, and get a ticket. We randomly picked (again) and got our tickets. This place is famous for using lots of garlic, and we hoped we bought stuff with garlic. We then sat at the counter, which was tiny. They actually had a couple booths but they reserved those for large parties of business men. By the way, the guy who took our tickets was a complete jackass. Yes, you heard it from my mouth – JACKASS. He completely ignored us, and took at least five other people’s tickets first. I was so upset.
The chef was much more mild, and sometimes smiled. Whereas the jackass didn’t.
This was Kyung’s. I have no idea what it was, other than it was a large size. I think it was pretty much mine, except with more noodles, while mine was smaller but had more meat. weird.
Here’s mine. The final consensus? The broth is thick and really savory, but after like three spoonfuls of it you’ve pretty much eaten your entire meal. The meat was tough and flavorless, the noodles thick and almost too heavy in your stomach, and everything was covered in inches of sprouts. And this is supposed to be good ramen?
I think if I were drunk, and wandering the streets of Shinjuku with no shoes, I’d eat here. But otherwise, not so much.