Now if you call yourself the tsukemen "specialist", you better do it well. So I went into the shop with some expectations. There are two kinds of tsukemen sold here. The normal tonkotsu gyokai (豚骨魚介) tsukemen and also a spicy version. Being my first time here, I put in my money for the standard version.
For any ramen shop to survive in Roppongi, you better stay open pretty late. And after a night of drinks and clubbing, what could be better than a nice satisfying bowl (or plate of noodles). There are only bar seating here, and very fitting for being in Roppongi, and even at this late hour, I was not the only one who needed a quick fix.
You couldn't complain about the speed here. After receiving my ticket, they quickly went to work I received my order within a matter of minutes. They definitely don't believe that good food requires time to prepare. But does that mean I will be disappointed?
As with any tsukemen order, you get your bowl of soup, and a plate of noodles and another with toppings. For some, the plate of noodles can be intimidating. It looks LARGE. Most tsukemen offerings start at 200g, then you can get 300g, and even 400g. This place evens offer 500g, which if you think about, that's half a kilo of noodles, which is too much even for someone with huge appetite like me.
The noodles look quite amazing. The traditional way of making tsukemen is quite interesting. They quickly rinse the noodles in cold water after it's cooked, and the belief is that it allows the noodles to keep its chewiness. It's evident that this method works.
The tsukemen soup is usually a bit more savory that the soup you get with ramen, meaning the flavor really packs a punch. The idea is you dip the noodles in the soup, and slurp it all in.
Even with my cheap-o camera, you can see the texture of the soup as being quite thick. This is normal. The powder I believe to be bonito (a type of fish) powder, which gives it even more flavor.
Perhaps one of my favorite things in ramen is the menma (bamboo), and this place doesn't mess around. It's quite thick and tasty. Very good.
If you want to be picky, you can see the egg was pre-cooked and have been sitting around. It's cooked to the right texture, but you can see the yolk has dried out a bit.
Charshu is not as marbled as I like, but this could be preferable to most people. It's still very good and it blended well with everything.
Because the soup is usually very thick, they provide hot clear soup for you to make a more drinkable soup. Very thoughtful!
As you can see, after the noodles are dipped, it look sooooo very appetizing. And I was not disappointed. It was one of my first tsukemen tries, so of course I was easily satisfied. But even after trying others, this place is still a solid option. Also, after going to another shop, my friend told me they also offer to cook the noodles in hot water after rinsing in cold water. The problem with tsukemen is that the noodles are cold, so it is almost as if you are eating cold noodles. And by the end, the soup you have becomes cold. Not all tuskemen shops offers this. Kudo points for this option.
This place has expanded to 10+ locations in Tokyo, so they must be doing quite well to have franchised throughout the city. It may not be the absolute best tsukemen, but if you having a craving, the offering and its convenience should make this a top choice if you are in the mood for tsukemen.
City: Tokyo, Japan
Location: Numerous locations in the city
Hours: Varies by location
Ordering system: Menu
Available in English: Minimal