Nakiryu (創作麺工房 鳴龍) and their spicy ramen (tantanmen) achieved Michelin star fame in 2017. They’ve understandably become busy since then. Here’s what to know if you plan to visit!
How to Order
At Ramen Atelier Nakiryū (their full name), you just line up and wait. The wait time could be anywhere from 20 minutes to 2+ hours. I’d recommend arriving well before the doors open at 11:30 am.
While you’re waiting in line, they’ll hand you a menu. Remember the number next to each item you want. You’ll use the same numbers to order from the vending machine once you’re inside.
What to Order
Nakiryu’s shoyu, shio and san ramen (more sour tatanmen) are top of the line. But their original tantanmen is their best seller and most famous.
After a long wait, you might as well treat yourself. Grab item no. 1 (¥1,400), which is the tantanmen with all toppings: thin sliced and grilled pork, duck meatloaf, flavored egg and shrimp and pork dumplings.
These toppings are a beautiful canvas of pink, white and green. I personally love the duck meatloaf. Note: Dec 2020, they’re currently not the deluxe toppings plate – hopefully they’ll bring it back when travelers are back!
The Michelin Tantanmen Itself
They arguably have the most refined tantanmen (dan dan noodles) out there. Nakiryu’s tantanmen broth is similar to a style started by Chinese restaurant Sichuan Hanten in Akasaka (赤坂四川飯店).
That is, raiyu chili oil and sesame paste float at the very top, separate from a light chintan broth below. The broth is slightly sour from black vinegar and apple vinegar but also meaty from the minced pork. It’s comprised of a range of things – including whole chickens, oysters, and beef bones.
Thin noodles beautifully pick up the nutty broth, which also includes bits of chopped green and white negi. If you’re curious to know more about the history of tantanmen, CLICK HERE.
Click below to see me review (video) their instant ramen! You can also buy this top-level instant ramen HERE.
Second Fiddle – Wonderful Shoyu Ramen
While they’re known for their tantanmen, their shoyu (soy sauce) ramen is no slouch. It’s actually one of my favorite shoyu bowls in Tokyo. That beautiful whole chicken flavor in the soup brightly shines, strengthened by goldenly rich chicken oil.
Like the tantanmen, it’s minimalistic in appearance. Green negi (spring onions) adorn the center and menma (bamboo shoots) are hiding below again.
The sliced pork chashu (not minced) and egg are so soft they fall apart when you pick them up. You’ll find the same thin noodles here too.
Verdict – Worth the Hype?
If your time in Tokyo is limited and you don’t care about Michelin bragging rights, there are other great bowls of tantanmen in the city.
Hashigo in Ginza, for example, serves a similar style and won’t have a long wait. But if you do have the time, Nakiryu is well worth the visit. Think of it as a tantanmen pilgrimage.
Shop Hours: Wed-Sun: 11:30 am ~ 3 pm / 6 pm – 9 pm // Mon: 11:30 am – 3 pm (closed on Tuesdays)
Curious about the first ramen shop to receive a Michelin star? CLICK HERE.