From delicious sea bream ramen broth to shrimp ball toppings, here are 5 shops you have to try for fish ramen in Shinjuku!
5. Flying Fish Ramen at Takahashi
Flying fish (ago) is the primary ingredient in the ramen at Yakiago Shio Ramen Takahashi (焼きあご塩らー麺 たかはし). They’ve recently opened branches in Shibuya, Ueno and Ginza. But you have to visit their flagship branch in Shinjuku.
In their signature ramen, they grill flying fish over charcoal and blend this with a shio (salt seasoning) and lighter tonkotsu (pork bone) base. The golden broth consequently has a salty and uniquely sharp fish flavor.
The noodles are flat and slightly wavy. The egg, fatty pork chashu and ultra thin, roasted chashu are appropriately seasoned. That is, they're not seasoned to the point where they take away from the addictive broth.
4. Seafood Paradise at Menya Kaijin
Ramen shop Menya Kaijin (麺屋海神) might serve the fishiest ramen on the list. Simmered amberjack, sea bream, salmon and even conger eel come together with a refreshing shio (salt) seasoning.
The broth is less salty, sweeter, and tastes almost like a fish cake would. The myoga ginger and shiso leafs on top add pleasant color and crunch. There are 2 meatball toppings – 1 chicken and 1 shrimp. They are incredible – with chewy bits on the inside to contrast with the soft exterior.
In addition, all of Kaijin’s ramen is halal friendly. They can also make your ramen spicier. But it’s better without any spice. You get to appreciate the complex layers of seafood more.
If you’re too lazy to read all this, feel free to watch the summary below 🙂
3. Sea Bream Ramen at Housenka
Housenka (鳳仙花) has been around for less than a year. But they’ve already made a big, fishy splash in the competitive space that is ramen in Shinjuku. If their ramen looks aesthetically similar to the chicken ramen at Hayashida, that’s because it’s from the same ramen group.
Housenka’s specialty is a delicately flavored shio (we're seeing a theme here) ramen with Kinmedai, or a special type of Sea Bream - Golden Eye Snapper. It’s insistingly tasty.
They use seared kinmedai as one of the toppings and this provides a lovely smoky fragrance. In addition, ultra thin slices of roasted pork shoulder slowly cook in the delicious broth while you’re eating it.
Lastly, their whole wheat flour noodles masterfully absorb this light broth.
2. Shrimp Tsukemen at Gonokami
I’m throwing a wrench in the works, since this ramen shop is all about shrimp-based tsukemen (dipping ramen). While their shrimp tsukemen is excellent, I like the tomato shrimp tsukemen best at Gonokami Seisakujo (五ノ神製作所).
The tomato acidity matches up well with the thick soup and rich shrimp and miso flavors. This is as modern as it gets. A beautiful pesto sauce and bread accompany the thick, whole wheat noodles that are made in-house.
Expect what can be the longest line on this list. But you won’t regret lining up!
1. Niboshi Ramen at Nagi
It’s hard to talk about fish ramen without including Ramen Nagi (すごい煮干ラーメン凪). They practically reinvented the niboshi ramen wheel. Niboshi is dried fish - normally baby sardines in ramen. But Nagi blends 20+ types of niboshi into their broth!
The result is a fish flavor bomb, with a flavor that's smoky and slightly bitter. But there’s so much depth - the soy sauce seasoning and meaty richness balance it all out.
While Nagi has branches throughout Tokyo, the one in Shinjuku’s Golden Gai is their flagship. It’s also open 24 hours – you can stumble in after drinks.
There you have it. Hats off to anyone that visits all five restaurants for fish ramen in Shinjuku!