These are my top 5 picks for unique tsukemen (dipping ramen) in Tokyo. They’re all creatively delicious – from rich lamb tsukemen to tomato and pesto tsukemen!
1. Lamb Tsukemen at Mensho Tokyo
Mensho Tokyo (自家製麺 Mensho Tokyo) elevates the use of lamb like no one else could. Their lamb tsukemen broth is part lamb, part pork bones. On top of this, it’s assisted by spices exotic to ramen, such as cumin.
The wonderfully potent broth works so well next to thick and firm noodles. Their in-house noodles are special, made with a bit of tapioca flour and durum wheat.
Don’t forget to order with all toppings – the lamb meat is divine.
Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 3 pm // 5 pm ~ 11 pm, Every day
2. Italian Tsukemen at ajitoism
Alongside their orthodox shoyu tsukemen, ajitoism (アジトイズム) serves an unusual tsukemen. It’s tomato-based. But this makes sense – the owner’s background is in Italian cuisine. He simply decided to bring two worlds together. I’m glad he did.
The “rosso” broth is just as acidic as it is salty. Furthermore, it’s awesomely reinforced with garlic. To drive home the Italian point, they top off the noodles with fresh basil, tomatoes, and grated cheese.
In addition, their chashu pork is magnificent – it’s spongy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Shop Hours: Tues, Wed, Fri: 11 am ~ 2 pm / 5:30 pm ~ 7:15 pm // Sat, Sun: 11 am ~ 2 pm (closed on Mon, Thu)
3. Vegetable Tsukemen at camino
At camino (カミノ), the vegetable tsukemen comes with a mountain of fresh, organic vegetables. These colorful, assorted veggies come straight from a farm in Tochigi.
The broth is a pleasant tonkotsu gyokai (pork and fish based). It’s heavy, but not as heavy as this style can get. When you dip the raw and grilled veggies into the broth, you’ll feel like you’re eating bagna càuda.
Guilt-free and delish.
Shop Hours: 11:30 am ~ 2 pm / 5 ~ 8 pm (just closed on Mon)
4. Tomato Shrimp Tsukemen at Gonokami
Craving crustaceans? Gonokami (つけ麺 五ノ神製作所) has a seat ready with your name on it. Their claim to fame is using shrimp. Their shrimp tsukemen is fantastic. However, I like their tomato shrimp tsukemen the best.
The tomato base harmoniously collides with the rich shrimp flavor. Like at ajitoism, there’s an Italian spin. There’s a thick pesto sauce and bread to mop it all up. The whole wheat, homemade noodles themselves do a great job of mopping it all up.
Except a line at Gonokami. But it’s worth waiting for.
Shop Hours: 11 am – 9 pm (Every day)
Curious about Japan’s no. 1 ranked ramen (tsukemen) shop? Check out the below video!
5. Code Roe Tsukemen at Ganso Mentainikomi Tsukemen
At Ganso Mentainikomi Tsukemen (元祖めんたい煮こみつけ麺) the secret sauce is mentaiko (spicy cod roe) from Fukuoka. This adds an interesting flavor to the broth. It’s overall sweet and slightly brittle. To bring down the mentaiko flavor a notch, mix in the spice and fish powder that lies on top.
They charge a bit more here. In return, you get a somewhat posh and modern Japanese interior. At the very beginning, you get to choose your spice level. Do this by grabbing a wooden card from a boxes that are assigned certain spice levels. It’s gimmicky…but also fun.
If you’re a lover of mentaiko, this place is for you.
Shop Hours: 10 am ~ 2 am (Every day)
There you have it – my top 5 restaurants for unique tsukemen in Tokyo. For an overall list of Top Tokyo tsukemen restaurants, CLICK HERE.