Since 1977, ABC Ramen (ABC ラーメン) has been slinging tasty ramen in the heart of Ginza, Tokyo. Spacious and with a big menu, they’re a local ramen favorite.
ABC Ramen – A Piece of Ginza Ramen History
As Tokyo’s most luxurious shopping district, Ginza is home to some of the world’s most expensive real estate. But did you know that Ginza is also home to a large number of top-level ramen restaurants?
ABC Ramen is one of them. Entering this basement ramen shop is like stepping into a parallel universe, considering how fancy everything else is above ground.
No. 1 Seller – Sesame Charged
ABC has a big menu to match the big space they occupy. “Majyanmen” is the ramen house special. This ramen’s soup is seasoned with both soy sauce (shoyu) and sesame paste.
The soy sauce gives the soup a sharpness while the sesame paste gives it a mellow nuttiness. Furthermore, the sesame acts as a soup thickener.
This soy sauce / sesame duo holds up a soup of pork, chicken bones, and vegetables (carrots, onions, etc). There’s also spice and sweetness coming from the little pile of miso-seasoned ground pork (niku miso).
To complete the toppings, you have bamboo shoots, white spring onions, and kaiware sprouts for a touch of bitterness. Zha cai (pickled mustard plant stem) add crunch and sourness while black and white sesame seeds add more nuttiness.
If you’re seeking more heat, order the “Majo Miso Jyanmen”. The pile of spicy, miso-infused pork in the middle becomes much larger. As per the ramen’s name, they use miso instead of soy sauce for the seasoning.
This miso contributes to the nuttiness that’s already there from the sesame paste. But flavor-wise, the sweetness stands out, followed by spiciness.
They also put pork back fat (seabura) into the soup, which gives it a heavier body. To offset this, they uniquely add lettuce and a slice of lemon. Lastly, this ramen includes refreshing bean sprouts (the other one doesn’t).
Would “timeslip” be the most appropriate word? At ABC Ramen, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to the 70s or even earlier.
They’re as close to a ramen izakaya (drinking place) as you get. There aren’t just counter seats, but tables for larger groups. Besides ramen, the gyoza (fried dumplings) platter is a popular menu item.
In addition, they have English menus! But whatever you order, you can’t go wrong.