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​Jimbocho Ramen Shop Kai: Hip Hop and Niboshi

​Among Jimbocho ramen shops, Kai (神保町 可以) is an attention grabber. Snoop Dogg played alongside fatty Niigata style niboshi ramen. What's not to love?

Kai's Fatty Niboshi Ramen

Unlike its sister shop Watanabe, Kai loves hip hop. You'll hear 90s and 2000s hip hop constantly playing in the background.

Kai also loves niboshi (fish) ramen. Specifically, they serve a style from Tsubame Sanjo, Niigata. This means a generous layer of seabura (pork back fat) amicably floating on top of the soup. The soup below is a pork and chicken bone party; mainly trotters and feet.

Niboshi Ramen at Jimbocho Kai

The seabura and crunchy onions play a role in sweetening the soup and taking away some of the niboshi (dried fish) flavor. The noodles are thick and flat and have plenty of water in them. Overall, this is a tasty, beastly bowl.

Ginger Shoyu Ramen

Kai also serves a ginger shoyu (soy sauce) ramen. This style is also from Niigata! At first glance, it looks quite old-school. It's steered by a mild shoyu and carries a tiny fish aftertaste.

But the ginger in the soup is the star of the show, adding a fun sharpness. The noodles are softer in this bowl and match the milder soup.

I’m told their tsukemen (dipping ramen) is awesome as well – I have yet to try it.

Kai’s ramen definitely doesn’t disappoint. Consider them a quality shop for Jimbocho ramen.


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