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Bankara Ramen/Ikebukero
ばんから ら~めん/南池袋


Starting to get mid-October cool in Tokyo. Certainly took long enough. The line at Mutekiya was too long as usual so I headed around the corner to Bankara. Bankara is a small chain, the Ikebukero branch is located in an area of Ikebukero where there are several other shops including Mutekiya, Kohmen and Ramen Jiro. Kaku ni (角煮) boiled pork is still not common at Tokyo ramen shops, but Bankara makes a decent kaku ni tsukemen. The dipping sauce here is reminiscent of one of the specials at Ramen Kazuki, a spicy shoyu with a lot of sesame in it. The kaku ni was decently sized and not too fatty, the noodles were well-done but there wasn't enough of them - get the omori, and if you do, don't worry when the noodles show up and don't look like an omori-sized portion - they will deliver the rest of them later. Special garlic presses on the counter allow you to crush your own fresh garlic into your soup. The only thing about this place is that it's very cramped at the counter and there will typically be someone standing right over you while you eat. They also had Chinese-speaking counter staff. Note that there appear to be several ramen shops/chains with the same Bankara name and similar logos.

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Story about Bankara's founder in Japan Times
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