Award-winning Ramen Kanaya (濃厚ラーメン かなや) serves some of the richest tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen in all of Tokyo.
They're located in Tokyo's Suginami City, slightly west of Shibuya and Shinjuku. They're 1 of 100 ramen shops on Tabelog considered to be the best in Tokyo. TRY (Tokyo Ramen of the Year) magazine also ranks them high.
In a nutshell, they're one of Tokyo's premier tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen shops. Let's see what the fuss is all about.
Ramen Kanaya's Signature Tonkotsu
Like a lot of tonkotsu ramen in the greater Tokyo area, Kanaya's is thick and rich. This is unlike the lighter bowls you often see on the island of Kyushu.
The thick and rich soup is the result of boiling pig head (90%) and back bones (10%).
Despite this intensely porky demeanor, the flavors have a dignified level of refinement. In this regard, it's similar to tonkotsu ramen shop Umaiyo Yuchan. But make no mistake - they serve a super porky soup, one that's a little frothy and grainy as well.
It'll leave you full and significantly heavier. The floral pattern of soft pork slices will contribute to this too. Another option is ordering it with mayu (black garlic oil).
This might be the way to go, as there's an extra layer of contrasting flavor.
Choose hosomen (thin noodles) or futomen (thick noodles). Wiry thin and on the drier side, pictured are the hosomen.
There are plenty of condiments to choose from, whether benishouga (pickled ginger), sesame seeds or toubanjan (broad bean chili paste).
Tonkotsu Ramen with a Spicy Twist
I'm a bigger fan of their "Taiwan Ramen". The same rich soup is there, but there's a river of spicy chili oil that helps cut through it. Furthermore, there's much more garlic.
The toppings are quite different as well. Instead of kikurage (wood ear mushrooms) and seaweed, there are nira (garlic chives) and shards of white onions.
There's extra green negi (spring onions) too. But what's most noticeable is the big mound of spicy minced pork. This is a staple in Taiwan Ramen (which is actually from Nagoya). Pictured are the thicker futomen noodles.
They have more water in them and being on the softer side, will remind of udon noodles.
A Porky Summary
Ramen Kanaya is one of those places your doctor warned you about. I'm personally about less heavy tonkotsu ramen, but I do understand the excitement surrounding theramen here. The Taiwan Ramen is particularly enjoyable.
On a random note, the owner is a big fan of the US. There's an American flag inside and you'll hear music from the likes of Dean Martin.