When asked about ramen in Shibuya, locals will immediately answer “Kiraku“. Kiraku has been confidently serving its nostalgic, big bowls of ramen for 60+ years.
They have English menus too. Make sure to visit after 2 pm – otherwise you’ll end up waiting like below.
Kiraku - Since 1959
Kiraku (中華麺店 喜楽) is one of Tokyo's oldest standing ramen shops. Each bowl of ramen strongly showcases Kiraku's Taiwanese roots.
Mountainous Moyashi Ramen
At Kiraku, choose ramen with a shoyu or shio seasoning. For shoyu, the “moyashi wontonmen” is best and the most filling.
It includes a mountain of crunchy (moyashi) bean sprouts and juicy wonton dumplings. For just the moyashi topping it’s ¥800. Just the wonton topping is ¥850.
The shoyu broth is a tad on the oilier side. But it’s light and nicely punctuated by sweet onion bits that have been fried for 20-30 min. Thick, slippery noodles help drive this Taiwan-inspired bowl home.
On the “shio” side of the menu, order the “Tanmen”. You’ll get a comparably sized mountain of stir-fried cabbage, onions, carrots and pork.
The shio broth is also light and easy to eat, with just enough lard used for richness. If you want to go BIG, order the “Gomoku wontonmen” for ¥1,050. You’ll get a sticky and starchy layer of broth (gomoku) on top, along with the signature wonton dumplings.
Uniquely, Kiraku doesn’t boil veggies in its broth. It’s purely chicken and pork bones, boiled for 7 to 8 hours.
The fried dumplings (“yaki-gyoza”) are worth every penny. They’re crispy enough on the outside and there’s soft, garlicky pork goodness waiting for you on the inside.
Kiraku directly traces its lineage to restaurant Kiraku Daihanten, just like Eiraku in Oimachi.
The 1st floor is counter top seating, with the kitchen visible. On the 2nd floor, you get to stretch your legs, since it’s all tables.
From the simple, table-top plastic menus to the wear and tear on the walls, Kiraku feels like a ramen museum. It’s hard not to smile when you’re eating here.