Jimbocho Kurosu (神保町 黒須) is one of several Tokyo ramen shops in Michelin’s Bib Gourmand Guide. How is the ramen? Are truffles even necessary? Let’s find out!
Jimbocho Kurosu, in a Ramen Heavy District
Jimbocho Kurosu takes half its name from the Tokyo area in which it’s based. The Jimbocho area is one of the most competitive for ramen in Tokyo. There are delicious ramen shops everywhere.
Amid all of this ramen hubbub, Jimbocho Kurosu stands out. On some websites they’re even at the TOP of the ramen list in Jimbocho.
From Shoyu to Shio
In the past, they were pushing a shoyu (soy sauce-seasoned) ramen. They still serve it too (scroll down). But now they’ve seemingly built their brand around a shio (salt-seasoned) ramen.
The salt seasoning is in between salty and restrained. It supports a soup that’s bursting with pleasant chicken flavors. In fact, the soup is just water and chicken. The owner apparently visits the chicken farms himself.
He uses both whole chickens and chicken bones – the high-grade Amakusa Daiou chicken breed. He cooks them in 90° C water for 6 hours. There’s also a thick layer of chicken oil on top, punctuating the chicken motif.
After a recent visit, I was surprised to find two items in the soup that weren’t there before. This was oyster paste and truffle sauce. Some might say that these two are Michelin magnets.
Regardless, there’s no doubt that these two pools add delicious depth to the soup.
Shoyu Ramen – Still Top-Shelf
Don’t sleep on the the soy sauce-seasoned (shoyu) ramen. The wonderful chicken-powered soup remains the same. Where the shio is salty, the shoyu is tangy. The owner owner uses an eyebrow-raising EIGHT types of shoyu.
It doesn’t move the needle as much as the shio for me. But the last time I had the shoyu was some time ago, well before he added the modern flavor pools (oyster and truffles).
In both bowls, the thin noodles are made from Hokkaido wheat flour. He even uses pi water, which supposedly more umami to the table.
In short, Jimbocho Kurosu elevates the Jimbocho ramen scene. Japanese sophistication meets a modern approach. I don’t see Michelin removing them from the Bib Gourmand Guide anytime soon!
Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 3 pm (closed on Sun)