Satsumako is a tonkotsu ramen chain mostly in Tokyo, but in some other prefectures too. All three stores in Ota-ku - Heiwajima, Harukibashi and Denenchofu are run by the original company, whereas any other store you see mentioned in the shop list page on the site is a franchise. On the main drag in Denenchofu, walking east from the station through the little shopping streets and then coming out on 311 in Higashitamagawa, is Satsumako. You can stop in there while also going to National Den-en (sister shop to National Azabu) on the other side of the station. It has a long line of seats at a counter, you have to go in via the sliding wooden door nearest your seat, the guy running around outside will direct you. Be sure to take your water and oshibori while you are outside, if there is a line it will probably be next to the water machine. The menu is on a laminated card on the right side of the machine. These guys in this shop really hustle - there were four of them and they were all really moving fast. One of the shop owners will typically be out there taking orders and directing people - you will be served your order within 2-3 mins of sitting down. He also was on "parking patrol" for the customers, as two limegreen-jumpsuit clad parking inspectors wobbled by on their bicycles, he hurriedly ran into the shop and started yelling at one of the customers to move his car from the street before they wrote him up. The menu is fairly simple for a shop, you have the various types of ramen and a couple of tsukemen dishes. There's fresh garlic on the table, but check to make sure it is fresh first before you put it in your soup. If the noodle amount is too big, you can get a smaller portion for a discount. The tsukemen looked fairly plain. The negi chashu men is what I had - it started to get all stringy with the negi's and they got all mixed in with the noodles, which were average at best. The soup was not fatty for tonkotsu at all - it had a very clean and slightly shoyu tonkotsu taste - but fairly plain, no "richness", more saltiness than anything. The pork was decent, probably one of the biggest portions I have ever had for chashumen. Both wet and dry nori were in the bowl. Other than ramen there wasn't much special in the way of sides on the menu, although they do have an otsumami chashu plate. On your way back, if you are still hungry, the Maison Kaiser shop next to the station entrance is pretty good.
Satsuma-ko Home Page
Diddlefinger Map (English labels)