豚骨魚介ラーメン玉子入り - Tonkotsu Gyokai Ramen with Egg, ￥750
It's a little hard to believe when leaving Higashi Jujo station that you are in 21st Century Tokyo, a city on the cutting edge of modern technology. Here it feels that you have stepped back into the Showa era with lots of little standing yakitori places and extremely narrow streets. It's just as hard to believe that 2 of the current 5 most popular ramen shops in Japan can be found in this often forgotten part of town.
Despite this popularity our visit was a quick one and there was only one other customer inside the tiny store that has had to sacrifice some space for the massive noodle making machine, although by the time we left there were a few people outside. The store suits the area perfectly and doesn't appear to be a must-visit ramen store. This contrast is even more explicit since it specialises in the ultra-modern abura soba and tonkotsu gyokai varieties.
I was keen to get the abura soba when I arrived but I eventually played it safe and went for the ramen. This time playing it safe meant not trying what is currently the number one abura soba in Japan. What can I say, I like soup...
And it was a good choice. A lighter than normal tonkotsu gyokai soup where the fish flavour is taking on a much larger proportion of the soup. Could it be gyokai tonkotsu? In any case it was quite refreshing and not at all heavy and the hanjuku egg was up there with the best. I definitely could have used more chashu, however.
While my girlfriend took a punt on the tsukemen.
If you are a little unsure of which to choose, I would suggest to go with the ramen. The soups are basically the same although the tsukemen seemed just a little stronger however, as far as tonkotsu gyokai is concerned, a little thin. This is much more conducive to a bowl of ramen when the noodles have time to soak up a little of the flavour.
After practically inhaling the soup, I got a glimpse of a slightly odd bowl design. I would have preferred the one with a dragon. Maybe next time.
If the lines are always this small I would definitely come back. It's not often you get the chance to eat amzing ramen in Tokyo without a 10-15 minute wait.