Crossed another Ramen Jiro off my list today, we are now down to 4 left. But the trips are getting longer and longer and I don't know what I will do about the one in Tochigi-ken. In any case on the recent advice from some other bloggers I traveled out to the Hibarigaoka Ramen Jiro. I made sure to leave very early in the morning so that I could be there at or near the opening time as this Ramen Jiro has a reputation for very long lines. When I got there (around 11:30) the line was about 10 people long outside (there's a rickety old bench outside that I didn't dare sit on) and it was full inside already. A man and woman team were hurriedly tossing ramen and pork around behind the counter. No tsukemen at this Jiro. In this branch, the oil seems to blend with the broth somehow in some strange and marvelous way, so that you do not have the soup on the bottom and then 1/2 inch of oil on top. Very rich taste, without that many suspended fat chunks, and that taste goes well with the very thin noodles. The pork was very good and cut into smaller chunks. The only question was "ninniku iremasu ka"? It's a bit cramped near the ticket and water machines, be sure to bring a drink or get water on your way in. If you are waiting outside listen carefully as you have to listen for the guy to call you in. Go there.
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