Hakata Tenjin 博多天神

My love for Hakata ramen should be well known if you are familiar with this site. No matter how much I love Tokyo ramen such as Kissou or Itsukiga, my heart still sits with Ichiran and Jangara like the love you had for your first car. It was just something special that can never be replaced. So I am always on the look out for good hakata ramen, and after seeing this chain nearly everywhere I go, I had to give it a try.

The first time I laid eyes on Hakata Tenjin was in Shinjuku's Kabukicho area, where there is this is this huge pig statute standing outside. Again, this is one place that always has customers, and even in there various location, it's never empty. With that pig standing there, I thought, well, the charshu here should be at least decent. So I gave it a shot!

I went with my friend Hiroko, and it's always nice to have a friend who speaks Japanese when you go to a place you never been before. It makes the ordering process much easier, especially since my Japanese is really, really bad. The menu actually isn't all that complicated. While there are several choices, it's mostly on the different toppings you can have. The foundation of the ramen is all the same, tonkotsu based.

I ordered the charshu men with negi and tamago, and when the bowl came, drool nearly came down the side of my face. I was't sure weather it was because I was hungry, or just how white and creamy the soup looked, but it sure looked damn good. I always take a sampling of the soup before I dive into the noodles, and the soup was very good, but not spectacular. You can, however, taste the tonkotsu, which you know it took hours and hours to make.

Onto the noodles, which was very standard Hakata noodles. Thin, cooked a bit harder than usual, which is Hakata style. The toppings were generous and blended well with the soup and noodles. The tamago was average and nothing special. But this bowl of ramen is good, and a good sign is when I enjoy the soup and noodle enough to get 'kaedama', which is an extra order. For the extra order, they will ask what your preference for the hardness of the noodles.

Hakata Tenjin doesn't have all the bells and whistles like the other ramen shops. It's a no-frills place that you go in, pay, eat, and leave. Kind of like Ichiran, but even more down to earth. It's not a place I would wait 60 minutes for, but it's not a place you will have to wait at all. With various locations around Tokyo, this place is perfect for a quick meal if you are on the go.

City: Tokyo, Japan
Location: Various location around Tokyo (Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, etc.)
Hours: Varies by store
Website: http://tokyo.cool.ne.jp/hakatatenjin/
Order system: Menu
Available in English? No (some of them speak a bit of English)

1 comment:

A-Mao said...

Hi there
I like your reviews on ramen

A-Mao in Taiwan