Koukaibou こうかいぼう

Ramendb continues to be my main source to find the absolute best ramen in Japan. So during one of my business trips, when I found that one of the top rated ramen shops was just walking distance from the office, it was a no-brainer to give this place a shot.

With just a short 10-minute walk from the IBM office near Hakozaki, I convinced my colleagues to take a nice walk to Koukaibou. They had faith in me in my ramen adventures, and I had faith this ramen shop was going to deliver. By the time we arrived, the shop was already full and there were even a few people waiting outside. This came as a surprise as this shop isn't exactly in a heavy foot-traffic area.

Tonkotsu Gyokai (豚骨魚介) ramen has simply just dominated the charts as far as top ramen is concerned in Tokyo. There's something about the way pork bone has blended with bonito fish flakes that has gotten people in Tokyo all nutty about this soup based. And to be honest, I don't blame them. Because it has won me over.

The presentation is simply amazing. The ingredients provided by the Koukaibou is first class. Charshu is well prepared, the menma looked great, and I couldn't wait to dig in.

As you can see the charshu is well marbled. Although it was cold, this is typical. Charshu is prepared ahead of time, then sliced before it is placed in the ramen bowl. Once you soak it in the soup and it warms up, the taste is really good.

The soup did not disappoint. It was as good as I have tasted in Tokyo, could easily be one of the better soups I've ever tasted. What is amazing about the Tonkotsu Gyokai (豚骨魚介) soup base is that if done right, it provides the right balance of flavor and thickness, meaning if you have a taste for something a bit more savory, this soup really provide the right touch. As you can, Koukaibou does it well, and it's not oily at all.

The noodles and egg is also of very high quality. Great chewiness in the noodles, the egg also done very well. There is no surprise that this shop is ranked as one of the top shops in Tokyo.

I left here very impressed, and ended up coming here a few more times after the first trip. A minor gripe was that the serving size was a bit small by my standards, but definitely more than enough to be a filling meal. I ended up have a huge affinity to this place, because this place didn't have a ticket machine, but the owners were so gracious and friendly, it made the experience that much more memorable. If you are in the area, I would highly recommend this place. Easily one of my favorite shops in Tokyo.

City: Tokyo, Japan
Location: Monzennakacho Station, 7-8 minute walk from the station
Hours: 11am - 3pm, 5:30pm - 6:30pm (Only lunch on Saturday and holidays)
Website: No official website (http://ramendb.supleks.jp/s/1298.html)
Ordering system: Menu
Available in English: Minimal

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