Among shops peddling ramen in Jimbocho, Totoko (麺ダイニング ととこ) is one of the most famous. They use the freshest ingredients from Yamagata in all of their ramen.
Yamagata Style Shoyu Ramen
Totoko’s top seller is a Yamagata inspired shoyu ramen. Almost everything is from Yamagata – from Marusei shoyu (soy sauce) to crispy, charcoal-roasted chicken strips from Yonezawa. These chicken strips even have Yamagata miso in them.
The broth is salty but relatively light. It’s also marketed as healthy – there’s no chemical seasoning. The most unique ingredient in the broth is a mild tasting apple vinegar. It’s from Yamagata of course.
The ramen comes hot or cold and the cold version is perfect in the summer. Ice cubes in the broth cool you down and take away some of the saltiness.
Refreshing toppings include tsukune meatballs and cucumbers. Wakame seaweed provides a taste of the sea. Lastly, the ultra thin noodles are almost similar to what you have in reimen (another cold noodle dish).
Limited Time Tomato Ramen
If you want to change it up, their tomato ramen is equally delicious. The thin angel-hair like noodles work harmoniously with the sweet and sour broth.
Choose from 1-20 for the spice level in this ramen. It’s more of a peppery spice than a chili oil one. Be warned – even at 5, it’s relatively powerful. A little bit of cheese costs extra but it help douse the heat.
Totoko - A Dining Experience
The owner is a sweetheart and always willing to engage in conversation. It makes the experience more like a ramen bar.
In the evening, it actually does become a bar. But you can still order the ramen. Overall, Totoko is a tasty and healthy choice for ramen in Jimbocho.
For another ice cold ramen, this time in trendy Ginza, CLICK HERE.