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Ramen Hige/Heiwajima


Today was quite hot and humid in Tokyo, so I really couldn't bring myself to toss down a steaming hot bowl of regular ramen. I decided to head south from the Yamanote-sen loop (via Shinagawa and the Keikyu line) to a place called Ramen Hige (pronounced "hee-geh", it means moustache, whiskers, beard, etc.). Both the February and May 2007 issues of Ikkojin's Ramen for Adults covered this shop. It is descended from the Musashi Kosugi (武蔵小杉) Ramen Jiro and the KoJiro (こじろう) shops, I went in hopes of catching a taste of their abura soba (油そば), a dish that appears on some ramen shop menus in summer. Abura soba is essentially like a regular bowl of ramen except most or all of the hot broth is replaced by an oily shoyu mixture, or in some cases they just leave a 1/2" or so of the original broth in the bottom of the bowl. The general procedure is to then stir up the entire bowl to mix all of the ingredients together. You then have something that has a taste similar to ramen but is not steaming hot. Ramen Hige also throws in a raw egg so if you don't like that be sure to say "tamago nuki kudasai". There was only one other person in the store when I arrived. The pork was very good but quite fatty, some bits were essentially just cubes of fat, since the chef chops up normal-size fatty pork slices (see the O'Taque pictures) into small pieces so that they will stir up easily. My only real concern would be perhaps that there wasn't enough broth at the bottom. Overall it was a generous portion, with fairly thin noodles (thin linguine size) for a Ramen Jiro or decendant.

I definitely plan to come back to this shop once cooler weather returns to Tokyo, in order to take in the full chashu and atsui shiru (hot broth) ramen experience.

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