Among shops serving ramen in Saitama, Chukasoba Yotsuba (中華そば 四つ葉) is ranked no. 1! This is in ALL OF Saitama. Their carefully crafted ramen will make you sing.
No. 1 Ramen in Saitama – Big Deal?
In short, yes. A large area directly North of Tokyo, Saitama is home to a ton of first-rate ramen shops. Many would put Yotsuba at the very top of the Saitama ramen heap.
Yotsuba is in Kawajima, North of Kawagoe (a popular sightseeing town). From Kawagoe station, it’s about a 20 min bus ride. As you can probably guess from the parking lot above, this is an area where everyone drives.
Just like the parking lot, Yotsuba’s interior is spacious. n 2 dining rooms, you have both Japanese style tables (chabudai) and counter seating.
Yotsuba is well-equipped for the suburban crowd. There are a lot more families living out here than in Tokyo.
Chickens all the way
The “Yotsuba Soba” is the house special. It’s as complex as it is tasty. The seasoning is 8 types of soy sauce, including 2 local ones. These are Fueki from Kawajima (since 1789) and Matsumoto from Kawagoe (since 1764). You know they mean business.
The seasoning has a playful, bouncy sweetness. It opens up a chicken-forward soup, which a deep savoriness coming from whole chickens. They’re using 5 high-grade chicken breeds, including Hinai jidori, Kumamoto Aso Daiou, Hakata jidori, and Shamrock.
Among toppings, the slow-cooked, thin-as-paper pork and chicken chashu are exceptional. You’ll get more of this fantastic meat if you order “tokusei”.
The relatively softer noodles are made onsite. Like a specially designed straw, they soak up the soup perfectly.
Buttery, Garlicky Maze Soba
Yotsuba has a few other ramen choices. For example, there’s a clam ramen and a dried sardine (niboshi) ramen. But if you want to change things up, you won’t regret ordering the the maze soba (soupless ramen).
Whereas the Yotsuba soba is refined and delicate, this one is rich and buttery from pork lard. The bulls eye egg yolk in the middle makes it even richer.
Garlic and raw onions add lively, sweet bursts next to the creamy flavors. Lastly, thick and wavy noodles make this one a real treat.
When you arrive, you’ll see a waiting area with seats on the right hand side. You need to hang out here first while they’ll jot down your name and eventually call you in.
Before this though, make sure to purchase tickets from the ticket machine out front. In addition, it pays to arrive early. Yotsuba is the no. 1 ranked ramen restaurant in Saitama, after all.