For Shin-Koiwa ramen, these 3 ramen restaurants are a deliciously safe bet. From dinosaur-sized pork ramen to beautiful duck ramen, they don't disappoint.
1. Beautiful Duck Tsukemen at yoshiki
A relatively new shop, yoshiki (鴨出汁中華蕎麦 麺屋yoshiki) is all about DUCK. They’re managed by someone that used to work at nearby ramen shop powerhouse Menya Itto. yoshiki’s duck tsukemen (dipping ramen) is their top seller.
The rich soup is all about Iwate duck - whole ducks and various duck bones. I believe it's seasoned with shio (salt) and he might even use soy milk to make it creamier. The thick noodles are made by noodle maker Kokoro no Aji Shokuhin.
Among toppings, the beautiful slices of duck steal the show. There are 4 different types, from smoked to slow-cooked duck. It's an impressive platter that drives home the duck theme.
yoshiki is most definitely worth a visit.
Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 3 pm / 6 pm ~ 9 pm (closed on Thurs)
2. Punchy Niboshi Ramen at Ibuki
Chukasoba Ibuki (中華そば 一颯) has been open since 2014. But their ramen screams classic. So do their prices. It’s just ¥680 for their basic “chukasoba”.
The chukasoba’s shoyu-seasoned broth exhibits a fairly bitter and metallic niboshi flavor. However, the niboshi (dried sardines) don’t take over everything. There’s a nice richness coming from the boiled pork bones.
The owner trained at Chukasoba Maruki in Matsudo and this influence is clear in the food. Topping upgrades include meaty pork dumplings and old-style slices of chashu pork.
In a way, the noodles remind of Sapporo Ichiban packet ramen noodles. They’re relatively soft and soak up the broth entirely. This isn’t a bad thing – nostalgia points from me!
Shop Hours: Weekdays, Sat: 11 am ~ 3 pm / 6 pm ~ 10 pm // Sun, Holidays: 11 am ~ 3 pm / 6 pm ~ 9 pm
3. Dinosaur-Sized Pork Ramen at Torou
Come to Torou (ラーメン燈郎) extra hungry. A couple bowls of their mountainous ramen would feed a small army. Jiro-inspired, their ramen features a thick pork, chicken, and fish broth that’s rich and teeming with garlic.
In true Jiro-kei fashion, their “mini” ramen already starts with a 130 grams of thick noodles. Their biggest ramen comes with 500 grams of noodles!
But the star attraction is the enormous, shoyu-braised pork. If this concrete-sized pork slab isn’t enough, you can top up your ramen with strips of steak! Go big or go home.
Interestingly enough, Menya Itto also takes care of this ramen shop. I’m sure you’re seeing a strong pattern for Shin-Koiwa ramen. The Bonus Round ramen shop below will probably come as no surprise…
Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 3 pm / 6 pm ~ 10 pm (closed on Tue, open from 11:30 am ~ 3 pm 4th Wed of the month)
4. Rich Chicken Tsukemen at Menya Itto
It’s hard to talk about Shin-Koiwa ramen without mentioning Menya Itto. They have the Shin-Koiwa market cornered. Their flagship ramen shop, Menya Itto, serves a creamy chicken tsukemen.
It’s consistently ranked among Japan’s top 3 tsukemen restaurants. This is for good reason. It delivers on all fronts. Do note that you’ll need to go early in the morning and come back at an assigned time to actually eat.
But the turnaround time usually isn’t that long. Besides, any wait here is well worth it. For Tokyo’s best 10 tsukemen restaurants (including Menya Itto), have a look HERE.
Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 3 pm / 6 pm ~ 9 pm (4th Wed of the month only open for lunch)
5. Garlic Tonkotsu Ramen at Seiryu
Seiryu (九州ラーメン 成竜) is a hidden gem of a tonkotsu ramen shop. Their soup is 100% pork bones (mainly pigs head). While there is a strong porkiness, it's super smooth overall. The top layer of pork back fat (seabura) adds to this smoothness.
Furthermore, the master uses pork bones from previous days, constantly adding to the soup. The flavor strikes a balance between being aged and refined. The finishing touch is black garlic oil (mayu). Its ingredients are fried negi, sesame, and garlic. It's sooo good.
The bowl is like a cross between Hakata and Kuamomoto style tonkotsu ramen. Topping highlights include the negi (spring onions), which add pops of sweetness and the grilled pork chashu. Love it.
Shop Hours: 12 pm ~ 9 pm (open every day)