I have been monitoring ramendb for a few years now, and in the past two years, there have been a few shops that are consistently in the top. For a good year or so, it was Menya Kissou, but in the last a year or so, a new shop in Chiba took over the crown. And since it took over, it has not looked back.
Tomita is not to be messed with. It's been on top of the ramendb charts, and with my love for ramen never wavering, I had to try it out for myself. Now Chiba isn't exactly close, but traveling to far places to try ramen was never a problem for me.
Located within minutes walk from Matsudo Station (松戸駅), I treked out from Shinjuku on a Saturday morning, and arrived around 11am. As you can see, the shop is not hard to find. Just look where the crowd is.
This shop definitely has character. From the exterior design of their window, to the interior decor of a traditional Japanese furnishing, it makes this shop a unique experience just to be here. But of course people don't travel all the way to Chiba for the decor. I must first apologize for the poor lighting of the pictures. I forgot to check the setting on my SLR, so the pictures turned out way too dark.
Tomita offers ramen and tsukemen, but it was evident that tsukemen is the prize here. From reading the reviews, it was clear tsukemen was going to be my choice. The picture isn't clear enough, but the tonkotsu gyokai (豚骨魚介) soup was absolutely superb. Some place is too light, some place too heavy, Tomita provide just the right balance of flavor and taste.
To achieve top billing in ramendb, you must do everything well. And tamago is one of the most critical piece to any ramen/tsukemen. Tomita is no exception. Soft on the outside, liquidy yolk on the inside, just perfect.
The amount of noodles you get with tsukemen, even with a normal order, never ceases to amaze me. It's a wonder how Japanese stay so skinny (but I guess not everyone eats ramen as much as me). The noodles were a prize possession here, thick, chewy, and immensely satisfying. The charshu, not charred as much as I like on the outside, but the serving was so generous and well marbled which made up for it.
The thickness of the soup can be seen through how it stays on the noodles. And when I took my first bite, it was as good as I expected. Sometimes when you set expectations too high, often times you are disappointed. Not here. Tomita is ranked #1 for a reason. It does everything well and has no weaknesses. If there are any minuses here, it's that it is all the way out in Chiba, which makes it a bit hard to get to. But if you are ever adventurous, and just want to have the best, head to Chiba. You won't be disappointed.
City: Chiba, Japan
Location: Matsudo, minutes walk from the station
Hours: 11am - 5pm (closed on Wednesday)
Website: No official website, http://ramendb.supleks.jp/s/282.html
Ordering system: Machine
Available in English: Minimal