Rakkan Gold in Nishi Azabu might serve one the best bowls shoyu (soy sauce) ramen in Tokyo.
They use the finest ingredients from around the country to create an elegant “amber” shoyu ramen and a “pearl” shio ramen.
Rakkan (楽観) Nishi Azabu Gold is a tiny 8 seater that's been around since 2011. Today, the Rakkan group has rapidly expanded in Japan and overseas. But it all started at this tiny shop in Nishi Azabu (close to Roppongi).
“Rakkan” means optimism. This word choice highlights a confidence in their ramen.
Their ramen broth is composed of various high-quality vegetables, katuso (bonito) from Shizuoka, Japanese anchovies from Kyushu, and konbu (kelp) from Hokkaido.
Finally, they add olive oil to the broth.
“Amber” Shoyu Ramen
This is their signature dish; Kohaku, or Amber. Amber appropriately describes the broth color.
The high-grade, rich shoyu makes its presence felt immediately. The olive oil gives the broth a subtle Mediterranean accent and the diced onions make it sweeter.
It’s a complex broth. I can understand why some feel this is the best shoyu ramen in Tokyo.
Pearl Shio Ramen
In the shio ramen, the shio taste is harder to find. The broth doesn’t have the same punch as the shoyu. This could be due to the diced onions overpowering the shio in the broth.
In the shio, the fish flavors emerge more. The shio is still a fantastic bowl. But between the two, I would take the shoyu.
The toppings in both bowls are superb. The soft chasu pork in particular stands out.
If you go, the best time to visit is right when it opens at 11 am. Like me, I’m sure you’ll feel a sense of optimism when you eat their ramen.