Tokyo: Rokurinsha Ramen

This is the third post of my travels to Tokyo. Other posts can be found here.

With so many ramen places in Tokyo, there would be the question of where to go? A simple internet search would easily turn up the name of Rokurinsha which is famous for their Tsukemen (dipping noodles).

Chef David Chang, of Momofuku fame, has famously tweeted of his love for Rokurinsha ramen and how it is the only shop that he would willingly join the queue for.
david chang

Food critic, Peter Meehan, has also written:

“Rokurinsha was the place that really drove home why there are all-ramen magazines and websites and TV shows: that bowl of soup (actually, tsukemen comes in two bowls) really is worth waiting in an hour-long line in a subway station for. It is satisfying in a way that most foods—most things—in life aren’t. It has forever raised the bar for ramen in my life, condemning me to decades of dissatisfaction and longing for a foodstuff I will only ever have a few chances to eat again, and I would have it no other way.”

Even among the locals, Rokurinsha has a tabelog rating of 3.63. Hence, on both fronts, it is a pretty well known ramen place. Much has been written about the queues, especially at lunch time. Hence, when I learnt that the Rokurinsha branch at Tokyo station was one of the few to offer breakfast from 7.30am to 9.30am. Despite it meaning having to get up early, I decided to give it go.

I arrived at the outlet at around 8.30am. To my greatest surprise, NO QUEUE!  Having read up in advance, I was ready to tackle the vending machine and managed to choose the breakfast ramen with an egg. The restaurant was relatively quiet and I managed to get a corner table. They even offer you bibs to wear while tackling your tsukemen which I declined.

Tsukemen is a dish where the broth and ramen are served separately. Because the noodles are meant to be dipped, the broth is often of a stronger flavour and saltier in contrast to the average ramen broth. Rokurinsha’s broth is made up of pork and chicken bones, dried baby sardines (niboshi), dried mackerel (sababushi) and dried bonito flakes (katsuobushi). Along with the broth, it was served with seaweed, chashu, fish cake, green onions, seaweed and fish powder.

Eating is easy. Take your noodles, dip, slurp and eat. The slurping is the best part. When you’re done, pour some soup into your broth so as to dilute it and drink up the remainder.

Rokurinsha’s broth is definitely very tasty, with very bold flavours. The noodles were cooked al dente, just the way I liked it. I would definitely come back here for another round!

Add: 1-9-1 Marunouchi Chiyoda Tokyo (Tokyo Station, Ramen Street)

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