Nakajima (麺飯食堂なかじま) in Shibuya is loved by locals for its tasty cold ramen AND hot ramen. Its big menu, BIG ramen and reasonable prices are a huge draw.
Cold Ramen Dishes for Summer
With record-breaking temperatures this summer, piping hot ramen might not be the first thing you crave. But Nakajima has plenty of satisfying cold ramen dishes to help cool you down in the insane heat.
Hiyashi chuuka Meaning “chilled Chinese cuisine”, hiyashu chuuka makes a grand appearance every summer in Japan. The broth is made up of sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and sometimes raiyu (spicy oil).
Due to the vinegar and sugar, it’s a sweeter broth. Nakajima’s version is no different. Thick egg noodles are topped with sliced cucumbers, ham, chicken in a sesame sauce, bean sprouts, and benishouga (red ginger).
Compared to hiyashi chuuka, the hiyashi tantanmen is less sweet and more savory. This is a meaty tantanmen, with a creamy sesame base. The noodles are plentiful and there’s a good amount of broth for them to rest in. There’s even a bit of numbing pepper at the bottom – so make sure to mix well.
In a unique twist, Nakajima throws in some okra and daikon (Japanese radish) to provide a crunch.
Hot Ramen Dishes for Winter
Nakajima has 2 hot tantanmen dishes – spicy (karame) or creamy (maroyaka).
Spicy Tantanmen The spicy version is shoyu (soy sauce) based. It’s rich and creamy but has a spicy buzz to it. Minced pork, spinach, negi, and wonderful menma (marinated bamboo shoots) create a lovely mountain the middle.
This version is creamier of course. It’s like the spicy tantanmen, but only after removing any spices and adding milk. This one is shio (salt) based.
Even though it’s not spicy, every so often you’ll get a slight jolt from a floating pepper. Not much sansho (numbing pepper) is used though.
Other Ramen Dishes
At Nakajima, there’s plenty of other ramen to dive into. But they also have other Chinese dishes, including fried rice and double-cooked pork stir-fry.
If you’re taking the subway from Shibuya station, use the newly built Exit 16B. The road will lead you right to Nakajima. Pay them a visit now for some great summertime cold ramen!