Tatsunoya (龍の家) is many people’s go-to tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen restaurant in Shinjuku. Normally with a line out the door, their tonkotsu ramen is mellow but powerful tasting.
Tatsunoya was born in Kurume, Fukuoka, the birthplace of tonkotsu ramen. But their ramen is produced by the world famous ramen group Ippudo. Their tonkotsu ramen therefore has a more modern feel.
Light (JUN) at Tatsunoya
Their tonkotsu broth is purely pork bones and water, simmered for 15 plus hours. It’s simple – choose light (jun) or rich (koku).
Let’s start with the light. Mellow but still packed with flavor, this is my jam. Tonkotsu ramen can be funky smelling. But just like at Ippudo, Tatsunoya’s tonkotsu ramen has a gentle aroma.
As you’d expect, thin noodles are the name of the game.
RICH (KOKU) at Tatsunoya
Forget what I said about gentle aromas for a moment. Their rich tonkotsu ramen is the kind that aggressively shoves its way through a crowd.
It features garlic oil and miso and the broth is much fattier. My younger self would have appreciated this more. If you’re craving a heavier bowl, order this one. Besides light and rich, they also have a spicy bowl and tsukemen (only available in Tokyo).
Tatsunoya’s main Tokyo shop is located in busy Shinjuku. This isn’t a drawback but do expect more tourists. The line does move quickly though.
Tatsunoya isn’t a massive chain by any means. But they do have several branches in Japan and have even set up shop in the US. Just a heads up, for those not wanting to visit a “chain”.
Otherwise, Tatsunoya serves quality tonkotsu ramen.