Tsukumo Ramen (九十九ラーメン) is known for cheese ramen. Yes, cheese. They add premium Gouda cheese to a tonkotsu (pork bone) soup.
I’ve been going to Tsukumo for years. This is another shop that’s served as an inspiration to 5 AM Ramen. They’re open until...5 AM!
Tsukumo - Late Night Cheese Ramen
All of Tsukumo’s ramen are tonkotsu (pork bone) based. The cheeseless tonkotsu ramen is already on the creamier side. This creaminess is naturally cranked up a notch when paired with cheese.
This cheese forms a dramatic block in the middle of the bowl – melting with each passing second. They use a premium Gouda cheese from Hokkaido, Japan’s dairy heartland.
Besides tonkotsu, there’s a hint of miso in the broth. This miso provides a break from the creaminess in the soup.
Tomato Cheese Ramen
This one is actually my favorite. The milky tonkotsu and strong cheese flavors are brought down a notch by the acidity and sweetness from the tomatoes.
They also add basil – it’s essentially a margherita pizza ramen. The result is a sort of rich tomato soup.
At lunchtime, you get to choose 2 free toppings for your ramen – like yude tamago (boiled egg) or moyashi (bean sprouts). You can see the egg above.
Seasonal Specials – Perfect for Summer!
Right now (August 2018) Japan is experiencing the hottest summer on record. Tsukumo has got you covered though – a cold ramen to beat the heat!
Their Hiyashi men (cold ramen) is soy milk and sesame based. It's topped off with sliced cucumbers, ham and onions. This type of ramen is very popular in Japan in the ridiculously hot summer months. You can add vinegar and raiyu (hot chili oil) as you like.
Centrally located, Tsukumo is not too far from Ebisu station. They have both indoor and outdoor seating.
Cheese ramen included, Tsukumo serves some of the most fun bowls in Tokyo.