Simplicty is the word of the day. I love things being simple. Simple is always better. With all kinds of noodles you can get in Japan, from ramen, tsukemen, soba, udon, it rare to see a shop that sells just ramen, and nothing else. And here at Hayashi, things could not be more simpler.
Even on a rainy Saturday, off the beaten path from Shibuya station, I found myself waiting in line with the rest of the eager ramen lovers.
The say Hayashi is simple is an understatement. They sell three versions of their ramen, and they must do it well to be ranked as one of the better ramen shops in Tokyo.
It was unfortunate that I arrived late to the party, as by the time I got there, the charshu was already sold out. So I had to "settle" for the tamago ramen.
When my bowl of ramen arrived, you can immediately tell this was first class. I once told my Japanese colleagues that I compared ramen making to art, and this was ramen art at its finest.
The noodles was truly something special. It was slightly thinner than most ramen shops, but still slightly thicker than the thin hakata ramen noodles.
While some ramen shop has soup that is a bit too oily, and others not oily enough, Hayashi had the perfect balance.
Without getting the prized charshu, they still include a piece of pork with the tamago version. It was much leaner, but I was more than happy with it.
And what really made this shop that much more special was the tiny piece of orange peal that they used to decorate the ramen. But it was so much more than just decoration. As you get close to finishing the bowl, you can start to taste the citrus flavor. I don't know if this was intended, but it scored kudo points in my book.
If you haven't gotten the message, I loved Hayashi. At the time I was there, to the many shops that I have visited since then, this one was one of the most memorable experiences. I haven't gotten back there again only because there are so many places to try, but if I ever want a bowl of high quality ramen, this is very high on my list.
City: Tokyo, Japan
Location: Shibuya, about a 5-minute walk from west exit
Hours: 11:30am - 3:30pm, closed on Sunday
Website: No official website, http://ramendb.supleks.jp/s/177.html
Ordering system: Menu
Available in English: None