Chukasoba Kotetsu in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo is a quaint ramen shop that's garnered the attention of Michelin.
Read on to find out what they're all about.
Chukasoba Kotetsu - Big Accolades
You'll find this little ramen shop in Tokyo's somewhat hipster neighborhood of Shimokitazawa. I'm not sure what prompted the Michelin team to visit.
But visit they did. Chukasoba Kotetsu (中華そば こてつ) soon became part of Michelin's Bib Gourmand Guide.
But this Tokyo ramen shop has scored high marks on Japanese websites too.
A Bold Shoyu Ramen
As is often the case at high level shops serving lighter ramen, choose shoyu (soy sauce) or shio (salt). The shoyu ramen ("chukasoba") features a bold and dark shoyu seasoning. It props up a soup that's meaty but deliberately soft at the same time.
This soup is pork bones, chicken bones and fish (both dried fish and fish flakes). It's also topped off with chicken oil, which gives it a syrupy finish. For reference, the owner at Kotetsu trained at an Ie-kei ramen shop.
Ie-kei ramen is known for having a greasy pork bone soup. It's therefore interesting that the owner here decided to go in a much lighter direction with the ramen.
The thin, straight and square-shaped noodles are made by Tamura Seimenjou. They're sturdy and on the drier side.
A Bright Shio Ramen
The shio (salt) seasoning is in between salty and low-key. But it's certainly lighter than the bold and tangy shoyu. For that reason you can taste the fish elements more.
In other words, the soup is the same in these two bowls. It's just the conductor that's different.
For toppings, kaiware sprouts found in the shoyu ramen are swapped out with mitsuba. Both bowls share ginger-heavy pork dumplings, big slices of pork, menma (bamboo shoots), negi (spring onions) and egg.
In brief, Chukasoba Kotetsu is a quality ramen shop in Shimokitazwa, Tokyo. In addition, one of the best things is that their line isn't that long...at least not yet.