The best shio ramen in Tokyo? Many believe this title goes to Shinka (進化) in Machida. Their shio ramen is a blend of five types of salt and a rich soup made from free-range chicken.
High-Grade Shio Ramen
In their signature shio ramen, it’s not a punchy salt seasoning ("shio" means salt). It’s much more delicate, with the five salts letting the chicken flavor victoriously emerge.
The chicken-based soup has a sticky fattiness to it. But the delicate seasoning is still the conductor of this salt symphony. It controls how everything in the bowl interacts.
This interaction also includes Raus kelp, Nagasaki flying fish, some niboshi, bonito, souda, and mackerel fish flakes. There’s a lot of fish but they all provide a subtle accent, taking a backseat to the chicken.
I review this bowl in the video below!
Shinka does a few other bowls, including a niboshi (dried sardine) one. The niboshi ramen is more intensely flavored, cranking up the fishiness in a heavier pork bone (genkotsu) base.
This bowl uses whole grain noodles and there’s a touch of horseradish on the side.
Just like in the shio ramen, all toppings include egg, pork chashu, and chicken chashu. I’m a bigger fan of their chicken chashu. The slices are soft, succulent and have a wonderful golden flavor.
Worth the Trek to Machida?
Shinka is a little bit out of the way. Machida is about 30 min. on the train from Shinjuku station. But for ramen fans, Shinka is a necessary shio ramen pilgrimage.
They have 2 ramen shops in Machida. While farther from the station, you might as well visit their flagship shop.
Machida Flagship Shop Hours: Mon – Sat: 11 am ~ 3 pm / 6 pm – 9 pm // Sun: 11 am ~ 5 pm
Machida Station Shop Hours: Every day: 11 am ~ 3 pm / 5:30 pm – 10 pm
If shio is your thing, have a look at this uniquely tasty, kelp-based bowl in Ogikubo.