Among ramen shops in Nishi-Shinjuku, Ramenya Shima (らぁ麺や 嶋) stands tall. Shima and their delicious ramen have taken the Tokyo ramen world by storm.
Top Ramen in Nishi-Shinjuku – a 2 Hr Wait
You read that right! Although to be fair, it was about 2 hours total when I went (including eating). Regardless, Shima has created A TON of hype since they opened their doors in 2020.
This hype is warranted, as their ramen is something special. Whether it’s worth waiting that long…I’ll write about this point at the end.
Shima’s Ramen – What’s the Deal?
Their shoyu (soy sauce) ramen is the top seller. It’s a beautiful and bold multiple shoyu blend. In the soup, there are plenty of high-level ingredients. For instance, you get various fish flavors (white shrimp, mackerel flakes, etc.).
But it’s really the radiant, whole chicken (Sansui) flavor that commands the soup. Besides the shoyu ramen, they do a proper shio (salt-seasoned) ramen. In it, they’re using 6 types of salts, along with Raus kelp and other elements.
The shio is lighter than the shoyu. But it’s not boring, with just the right amount of saltiness. Other shio ramen differences – fried and diced onions, and garlic for toppings. Furthermore, the shio ramen has thinner noodles.
Ordering all toppings (“tokusei”) will ensure a crazy variety of meat. You’ll get 4 different cuts of chicken and pork chashu. Some slices are grilled, others smoked. You’ll also get shrimp AND pork dumplings.
What’s interesting is that the master heats the soup for each individual bowl before serving it! They’re all about temperature control here, and really go the extra mile.
Ultimately Worth the Wait?
After the hype dies down, the lines at Shima may shorten. But there’s no question about the quality of their ramen. The master worked at the legendary Shina Sobaya for 2 years…and it definitely shows.
Nobody likes waiting. But if you want to eat ramen that truly represents the modern Tokyo ramen scene and how far ramen has come…2 hours maybe isn’t that bad.
So the short answer is “yes.” I’ll just leave it up to you whether you’d visit every week or not.