I was fortunate enough to have gone to the original shop in Ōsaki. This place is of course no longer opened, due to the neighbors complaining about the number of people waiting in line during business hours. And the amount of people waiting in line is pretty ridiculous. On the day I went, my friend and I arrived at the shop at 11:10am, and by the time we sat down, it was 1pm. No sane person would wait nearly two hours for ramen, but I guess those of us who were waiting were all crazy.
One of the possible reasons for a usual two-hour wait is due to the size of the shop. I think they only seated 12 people, so turnover definitely going to be slow. Now, one of my BIGGEST regrets that day was forgetting to charge the battery for my SLR, and thus, after taking pictures outside, my camera was dead when I got indoors. The following pictures was taken with my pathetic Nokia E71 at the time, and the pictures are blurred... (TEARS)
Even with the blurred pictures, the ramen looks amazing, and just by looking it brings back memory. This was one of my first experiences to have gourmet ramen. What is gourmet ramen? Well, Rokurinsha defined it for me. At no point in my life did I ever wait two hours for food. And Rokurinsha was well worth the wait. From the limited menu, seating, to the quality of the food, this was gourmet ramen.
The charshu here isn't just done well, it's nearly perfect. I consider good charshu being well marbled, charred from the outside, soft inside, and Rokurinsha's effort was absolutely superb.
The tamago was just as good, with the yolk half boiled and still liquidy. Just the way I like it!
The noodles, amazing. Just the right thickness, just the right amount of chewiness. Absolutely amazing!
My friend went the tsukemen route, which also looked amazing. Now most tuskemen shops only offer cold noodles due to the cooking and cooling process, but Rokurinsha will add another step and warm the noodles again. This was for those who don't want their tsukemen soup to be cold after half way through the meal.
This had to be one of the best ramen experiences I had at the time, and even with my many other adventures, to date. The shame is that the original shop is close. But never fear, Tokyo Ramen Street is here.
On my subsequent trips to Tokyo, after learning the Ōsaki location had closed, I was so happy to hear that it opened in Tokyo Ramen Street. By this time, I had started my tsukemen tour, so Rokurinsha had to be experienced.
The consistency of the soup is seen here. From my first trip to Rokurinsha, to this experience at Tokyo Station, the soup looks pretty much the same. I didn't get to try the Tsukemen at Ōsaki, so I can't compare the two. But ramendb has the Ōsaki branch rated much higher, but I found the Tokyo Station shop pretty amazing.
If anything, the charshu didn't look as good compared to Ōsaki, this could be because for Tsukemen they provide different charshu. Who knows? But it is evident that this serving is a bit thinner.
As with most tonkotsu gyokai (豚骨魚介), the soup is thick, rich, and topped off with bonito powder for extra flavoring.
This picture is simply painful to look at not being able to take a bite. It is every bit good as I expected it to be, and it was easily one of the most memorable tsukemen experiences I had.
Rokurinsha has lost some of its mystique over the years, but it continues to have the longest line at Tokyo Ramen Street for a reason. Whether it is just because of the name, or the quality of the food, Rokurinsha continues as a strong presence in Tokyo. It's like a veteran ball player who knows all the tricks. The newer shops may all the flare and fame, when it's all said and done, if you need a closer at the end of the game, you don't need to look much further than Tokyo station.
City: Tokyo, Japan
Location: Ōsaki (closed)
City: Tokyo, Japan
Location: Tokyo Station
Hours: 7:30am - 10am (breakfast), 11am - 10:30pm
Ordering system: Machine
Available in English: Minimal