Here are 5 Kinshicho ramen shops you need to visit – from rich oyster ramen to vegetable heavy tanmen. They’re all super close to Kinshicho station (and near Tokyo Sky Tree)!
#1 Mengyo (真鯛らーめん 麺魚)
Kinshicho ramen is synonymous with Mengyo. The geniuses at this ramen shop have crafted a delightfully modern bowl that showcases red sea bream (aka red snapper).
Choose light or rich broth. Even the light broth has a wonderfully deep red snapper flavor, assisted by chicken bones. Topping highlights include ultra thin slices of slow-cooked pork, yuzu citrus, and bits of broiled red snapper that provide a smoky flavor when pulled up with the noodles.
Ask for yuzu kosho (my personal favorite) or raw ginger at the end to add to the broth. All in all, this an unforgettable bowl.
#2 Ramen Ichizu (らーめん一途)
Ramen Ichizu has a soy sauce + chicken ramen that’s modest but satisfying. They’re best known for adding sweet and mild seabura (pork back fat) at the top of the bowl. If you ask for a lot (like pictured), do note that it’ll really glop up the works.
But no matter the quantity, the seabura is super smooth when it glides about. Their pork chashu topping is on the heavier side but delicate Kujo negi balance this out.
You can also customize the broth’s flavor strength and firmness of the noodles. Lastly, there’s another ramen option – it’s the same broth, but more spicy and garlicky! Both bowls are the perfect hangover food.
#3 Tanmen Shaki Shaki (タンメンしゃきしゃき 錦糸町本店)
Tanmen doesn’t get as much love as other ramen styles. But this is unfortunate, as tanmen is a wonderful and filling dish. Tanmen Shaki Shaki specializes in it.
Their tanmen is nothing fancy – a broth that’s more on the salty side than pork rich side. The gigantic portion of stir-fried vegetables in the middle looks like a resting volcano. In addition to this and unlike standard tanmen, they use thick, flat and wavy noodles with plenty of bite.
Towards the end of the bowl, you’ll need to add white or black pepper from the table. When you have such a large amount of cabbage and bean sprouts, the broth is sure to get watery. But this is otherwise a pleasing and cost-effective meal.
#4 Saichi (麺や佐市)
Oyster ramen is harder to come by. So ramen shop Saichi makes sure their oyster ramen counts. As soon as you walk in, the smell of oysters engulfs your nostrils. The ramen soup is rich with extracted oyster flavor but it still has a gentleness to it. It’s also clean – they don’t use any chemical seasoning.
Thick noodles help you mop up the thick broth. Instead of a big sheet of seaweed, thin slices are placed right in the soup. When they dissolve, they add yet another sea-like flavor dimension.
The big slab of pork chashu is barely seasoned, allowing the broth to stand out. Of course, this bowl wouldn’t be complete without delicious oyster toppings. Saichi used to be in Hatagaya but their home is now Kinshicho.
#5 Chuuka Soba Manchiken (中華そば 満鶏軒)
Manchiken is right across the street from Mengyo. This is because it’s run by the same people that brought you Mengyo. Manchiken actually occupies the old Mengyo space.
Instead of red snapper, duck is the centerpiece of this ramen. Choose shio or shoyu seasoning. Pictured is shio. It’s clear and clean tasting but the duck base provides a bold and silky richness.
Borrowing from Mengyo’s playbook, broiled cubes of duck adorn the top of the bowl, along with slow-cooked duck chashu. They also use yuzu and komatsuna as toppings. But I feel like the egg is better here than at Mengyo.
While this bowl might not be as groundbreaking as Mengyo, in my opinion (I also prefer Kamo to Negi for duck ramen), it’s still a solidly tasty bowl!
In summary, Kinshicho ramen is no joke. The ramen there and near Tokyo Sky Tree are diverse, high-level, and absolutely delicious.
For the best ramen of Ikebukuro, check out this post: Top 10 Ramen Shops in Ikebukuro.