This unpretentious little basement shop has been serving classic Japanese curries since 1993. The “special curry” (Y750) is a meaty combination of a stew-like beef curry in a rich, European-style roux topped with a deep-fried pork cutlet. Another popular dish is the spicy “Malaysian curry” (Y650), made with chicken, potatoes, green peppers and other vegetables in a roux flavored with cloves and various other spices. …continue reading
Nakajima in Shibuya is famous for incredible Chinese food, including cold ramen dishes. They have an impressive menu, with almost every ramen dish a reasonable ¥830.
Cold Ramen Dishes for Summer
With record-breaking temperatures this summer, piping hot ramen might not be the first thing you crave. But Nakajima has plenty of satisfying cold ramen dishes to help cool you down in the insane heat.
Due to the vinegar and sugar, it’s a sweeter broth. Nakajima’s version is no different. Thick egg noodles are topped with sliced cucumbers, ham, chicken in a sesame sauce, bean sprouts, and benishouga (red ginger).
Compared to hiyashi chuuka, the hiyashi tantanmen is less sweet and more savory. This is a meaty tantanmen, with a creamy sesame base. The noodles are plentiful and there’s a good amount of broth for them to rest in. There’s even a bit of numbing pepper at the bottom – so make sure to mix well.
In a unique twist, Nakajima throws in some okra and daikon (Japanese radish) to provide a crunch.
Hot Ramen Dishes for Winter
Nakajima has 2 hot tantanmen dishes – spicy (karame) or creamy (maroyaka).
This neighborhood sandwich counter serves Philadelphia-style cheesesteak and pulled pork sandwiches, and sometimes meatball subs. The cheesesteak comes in either hoagie or sandwich format (the hoagie includes vegetables), and your choice of provolone or mixed cheese. Whether or not this is exactly what you’d find in Philadelphia is a question best left up to the experts, but it’s certainly a very tasty sandwich.
The pulled pork is greatly improved with the addition of barbecue sauce and pepper sauce, both or which are provided at the four-seat counter area. The meatball sub, on the other hand, is smothered in sauce and could probably use a bit less. Sandwiches come on their own or in combination with cheese-smothered fried potatoes and soft drinks, and take-out service is available all day long. …continue reading
Tsukumo Ramen is known for their unique cheese ramen. They add premium cheese to their standard tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen and magically transform the bowl.
I’ve been going to Tsukumo for years. This is another shop that’s served as an inspiration to 5 AM Ramen. They’re open until 5 AM!
Miso Cheese Ramen
All of Tsukumo’s ramen dishes are tonkotsu (pork bone) based. Their tonkotsu ramen by itself is on the creamier side and for me personally, it’s too creamy.
But when it’s paired with cheese, harmony is reached. The Miso Cheese Ramen is therefore their most popular dish. Besides tonkotsu, there’s a hint of miso in the broth.
The cheese forms a dramatic block in the middle of the bowl – melting with each passing second. They only use a premium cheese from Hokkaido, Japan’s dairy heartland.
Tomato Cheese Ramen
This one is my favorite. The milky tonkotsu and strong cheese flavors are brought down a notch by the acidity and sweetness from the tomatoes. They also add basil – it’s essentially a margherita pizza ramen.
The result is a creamy tomato soup.
At lunchtime, you get to choose 2 free toppings for your ramen – like yude tamago (boiled egg), or moyashi (bean sprouts). You can see the yude tamago pictured above.
Again, their tonkotsu ramen is a bit too milky and heavy tasting for me personally. But others may enjoy their tonkotsu ramen.
Nagasaki-style noodle dishes are the specialty here along with tasty gyoza dumplings. Special dishes served at this “premium” branch of the popular chain include a noodle bowl topped with beef, and versions of their champon and sara-udon noodles with heaps of extra vegetables. Located inside the Isetan Time & Food food court in Joinus department store, the shop has its own small seating area, or you can sit in the main dining area and mix and match dishes from other booths. …continue reading