For Haneda area ramen, Charume (中華ソバ ちゃるめ) looms large! This Tokyo ramen shop's elevated classic ramen is the real deal.
Handeda Ramen King
There aren't a whole lot of reasons to visit Haneda - unless it's flying from Haneda Airport. But you can now add ramen shop Chuukasoba Charume to the list.
They're indeed right next to the airport (Tokyo's Ota City). The closest station is Kojiya (Keikyu Airport Line).
Classic, Elevated Ramen
Charume's top seller is the chuuksoba (ramen). You're treated to an array of items if you order it with all toppings. There are bamboo shoots, Japanese spinach, three sheets of seaweed, spring onions, a decorative fish cake (naruto), and a soft-boiled egg.
The meats are particularly tasty, with different cuts and styles of pork and chicken. They spare no effort in making the bowl overflow with toppings.
The soy sauce (shoyu) seasoning is tangy but relatively light. The soy sauce itself is unpasteurized - the Kanazawa-based Yamato Shoyu brand.
This soy sauce seasoning carries a soup that's pork meat, chicken bones, and dried fish flakes. In addition, they sprinkle chicken oil on top, which gives the soup a syrupy finish.
This bowl is a great example of classic ramen (chuukasoba) with modern fine-tuning. Lastly, the thin noodles are made by Nakano Seimen.
Miso Curry Milk Ramen?
Keep an eye out for limited time bowls at Chuukasoba Charume too. For a few days in 2022 they served a Miso Curry Milk Ramen, a local favorite up North in Aomori.
The soup includes similar ingredients (pork meat, mackerel flakes, etc.). But it couldn't be more different, with its unique base of miso, curry and milk. The curry itself is a blend of cumin, garam masala, coriander, turmeric, and other spices.
Instead of chicken oil, they use garlic oil. This makes sense alongside the stronger flavors. Among toppings, the crunchy bean sprouts and wakame seaweed remind of classic miso ramen. The stick of butter further richens the milky soup.
The noodles are thicker - as they should be in miso ramen!
Chuukasoba Charume Notes
One thing I love about Charume is the customer service. The owner Iwase-san is always happy to interact with customers. He used to work at famous ramen shop Soranoiro back in the day.
If you happen to be near the airport, Charume is an excellent option for Haneda ramen. But even if you travel all the way to Haneda from central Tokyo, you won't regret it. In 2022, Charume was added to the Tabelog Tokyo Top 100 ramen shop list.