Tokyo    ramen    in English    24 by 7     




Vacation day. Today I decided to take the Keio Inokashira line (京王井の頭線) west a bit from the center of Tokyo and check out two tsukemen places along that line between Meidaimae and Kichijoji. The first one was in Kugayama, less than 50 meters from the station right near the railroad crossing. The name of the shop is Kai (fruitful, effective) and it specializes in chukka soba/tsukemen as you can see from the pictures of the outside of the store.

This store is a very small place situated on one of those sharp-angled corner plots of land that the Japanese hate to waste. It has no tables, only 8 small stools at a counter (of course me the big gaijin always gets wedged in a corner somehow) and one person behind a small counter who was working extremely hard and was covered in sweat. The broth was good, shoyu with fish overtones - and it didn't have that slight hint of sweetness that you get with the Taishoken-type tsukemen shops. Not to say that is good or bad, just different. Generous portion of onions in there. No tissues or spoons. The noodles were quite close to the Taishoken tsukemen type, spaghetti-thickness. These were a shade darker in color and had some firmness to them. The "regular" pork chashu was grilled on the outside then sliced thinly, this is one of the layered cuts similar to Bannai's pork. Definitely good overall.

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