Ramen Ren (らーめん蓮) is the best option for ramen in Kamata, and one of the best for miso ramen in Tokyo. They’ve perfected rich miso ramen.
Ramen Ren - Buttery Miso Ramen
Before the ramen arrives, you’ll start off with a shot of vegetable juice. Menya Taiga in Kanazawa does this too.
The miso ramen broth is like a richly flavored, powerful maelstrom. In a way, this richness swallows up the miso flavor. But every so often the miso flavor escapes, like it’s gasping for air. This back and forth relationship works so well.
Ren’s miso ramen is indeed one of the richest and thickest out there. But it’s also complex. The broth includes 4 types of red and white miso, 40% chicken bones, 60% pork bones, and 5 types of veggies including ginger and garlic. The ace in the hole is chicken oil (chiyu), which gives everything a smooth taste.
If you’re crazy like me and want even more richness, top off your miso ramen with butter or cheese.
My Fave – Miso Tsukemen
Miso ramen is Ramen Ren’s most popular. But my personal favorite is their miso tsukemen. First of all, miso tsukemen is quite rare. It’s even rarer to find good versions of it. But Ren’s miso tsukemen is AMAZING.
It’s really the best of both worlds – tsukemen and miso ramen. It has that signature tsukemen sourness and salty savoriness, along with a fish accent from niboshi (dried sardines) and sababushi (mackerel flakes). The miso flavor comes out more in the tsukemen and there’s still that pleasant smokiness from the stir-fried toppings.
But instead of the chicken oil, they use pork back fat (seabura). While the miso tsukemen is thicker, it tastes lighter and less rich than the ramen.
Ramen Ren will offer seasonal ramen too. Now (summertime) they’re dishing out a cold (hiyashi) miso tantanmen. It’s closer to a brothless ramen.
It has a cleaner creaminess that comes instead from the white sesame base. This white sesame works extremely well with the miso flavor and an ample amount of sansho numbing pepper.
If I wasn’t clear, this is one of my favorite ramen shops in Tokyo – not just for ramen in Kamata. Whatever miso variation you order, Ramen Ren will deliver spectacularly.