For Kami-Kitazawa area ramen, Koike (らぁめん小池) rules. Their complex, gentle niboshi ramen is even recommended in the Michelin Bib Gourmand Guide.
Koike - Top Kami-kitazawa Ramen
Ramen Koike is at the very top of Kami-kitazawa. This Setagaya neighborhood (South Tokyo) is lucky to have them.
Choose from 5 ramen types, all of them showcasing niboshi (dried sardines). In their standard niboshi ramen, the niboshi flavor is mellow, with no strong smell or bitter aftertaste.
In it, the shiro shoyu (white soy sauce) seasoning sets off a deeply satisfying broth. It’s composed of niboshi (dried sardines), kelp, and shiitake mushrooms, all boiled for 15 hours. They’re using 3 types of niboshi – 1 katakuchi, and 1 shirokuchi. Just know that they’re high-grade 🙂
Furthermore, the toppings are a party. They have chicken tsukune (meatball), diced onions for some sweetness, komatsuna, and sous-vide style pork slices. Lastly, the thin noodles are from Murakami Asahi.
About the other ramen – they also have the niboshi ramen, but with a (sansho) numbing pepper oil. Besides this one, there’s a richer niboshi ramen. If you’re craving spicy, they have 2 “Taiwan” style ramen (soupless and with soup.) They have homemade raiyu chili oil, grated garlic, and are much creamier.
In conclusion, any ramen at Koike is guaranteed to be delicious. Their niboshi ramen is a great introduction to the genre too. Gentle tasting and addictive!