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Bannai Ramen/Gotanda
喜多方ラーメン 坂内/五反田駅前


The Bannai chain is a good and reasonably-priced chain of Kitakata-style ramen shops that I have already written about here. I won't repeat all of that information for this shop listing (this is the second of the two shops in Gotanda), other than to say that this is the larger of the two Gotanda shops, and that this one is closed on Sundays. It's tucked into a little corner just north of the West Exit of the station (don't cross the railroad tracks). Side note - one of Tokyo's few "large size" shoe stores is right around the corner from this branch of Bannai, you will see signs for it when you exit the station and walk north. In any case they had a couple special items on their menu until September 30 - one of them was a special summer tsukemen with goma dare (sesame dipping sauce). The weather was starting to cool down a bit this week in the metropolis so I wanted to go there and try this one out and also see what this store was like. Well while the pork and noodles were up to Bannai's high standards (for a chain in this price range), the goma dare tasted off to me for some reason. Now this has nothing to do with this shop specifically, as I'm sure most or all of the Bannai branches carry the same dish and probably make it in pretty much the same way. It was a bit bitter and rough-tasting and didn't go well with the noodles. Not quite to my liking. Also they sprinkled ground goma on top which doesn't go well (to me) for a tsukemen dipping sauce as it affects the texture of the noodles that you taste. To dip noodles in a thick sauce like that, it really has to have a good taste and harmonize well with the noodles, and this didn't quite do it for me. Definitely go to this shop, but I can't recommend this dish. Some of their other cold dishes such as hiyashi chuuka soba might be better choices and are actually available all year round.

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