My original taste for ramen in Japan was really more tailored to hakata-style ramen. I have always loved thin noodles, and my first experience being Jangara, which was one of the more popular tonkotsu ramen shops in Tokyo, I was out searching for a true, tradition style of hakata ramen. With an option that is so close to Roppongi station, I had to give Akanoren a try.
This ramen shop almost seems out of place, because just down the street is the ever so modern Roppongi Hills. The decor brings you back in time, and you can sense this tradition of hakata ramen even before sitting down. Even the menu is written on a wooden board.
Akanoren brings you hakata ramen at its finest. Every thing from the thin noodles, to the thickness of the tonkotsu soup, to the charshu, and the toppings. This is as traditional as it gets.
What was a nice surpise also was the special dumplings they had. Normally you get gyozas, which is pan-fried. But here, you get boiled dumplings, which was a really nice change. The standard gyoza/dumpling sauce is available, and it was a nice compliment to the ramen.
The problem with having ramen without a Japanese speaking friend is running into problems ordering. Without a machine, I did my best impression of a Japanese person, but failed miserably. Simply because we wanted the hanjyuku tamago, but got a full-boiled egg in our bowl. And when I attempted to order what I thought I wanted, out comes a fully raw egg in my bowl.
It didn't mix well, but that's not the ramen shop's fault. The ramen as a whole was very good. So the lesson here is, I need to learn some Japanese.
All in all, this was a very memorable experience. I loved the decor, the ramen was always very good. If you are craving good hakata ramen, and you live in the city, you won't have to go far. Akanoren is just around the corner.
City: Tokyo, Japan
Location: Roppongi, about 10-minute walk from Roppongi or Azabu-Juban Station
Hours: 11am - 5am
Website: No official website (http://ramendb.supleks.jp/s/398.html)
Ordering system: Menu
Available in English: Minimal