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Menya Shichisai


This is my first review for any place in Nakano-ku. Several ramen shops in the Tokyo area change from one type of shop at lunch time to another type at night, sometimes going so far as to change menus, soup styles, shop names, even in some cases changing from a ramen shop to an izakaya, etc. This phenomenon is covered in Ishiiyama-san's latest issue of his annual ramen guide here. It's referred to as nimosaku, which means twice at once or "two crops a year". The name of this shop in the evening is Edoama (江戸甘) and they make a mean-looking black abumata miso ramen using beef fat with a pork loin cut. Other shops that do this night-time day time thing are Black Friday and Atago. During the day, the shop is known as Shichisai and I had their shio Kitakata chashumen style. This shop was also recently ranked by Isshukan magazine as one of the best of 2008 in their annual best ramen issue. It's standard style through and through, a salty clear soup (shouyu is also available, with a similar clear thin broth), thicker curly/wavy noodles, and thin matchbook sized slices of pork that had a lot of flavor and suprisingly little fat (a bit pink in the middle though), both momo and bara cuts are used. The overall taste is like Bannai, but better (and Bannai isn't too bad for a chain either). Definitely a generous portion of noodles, the 300 was enough for me. You will have to get your own water when you go in, and the guy will ask you what size noodles you want before you sit down. On the small bookshelf next to the water machine there's a lot of ramen mags and above the bookshelf there is a small shelf selling Thai noodles and various Thai saurces. I get the sense from watching these guys cook the noodles and the soup that they are really hard core ramen guys.

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