Monday, March 1, 2010

Ichiran Ramen :: Have It Your Way

Hungry, wandering around Shinjuku on a cold and rainy day, I fortuitously stumbled upon Ichiran, a famous ramen chain in Tokyo. Ichiran is famous for it's single eating stalls and their "have it the
way you like" ordering system. There's a ticket machine out front where you order the basics but once you get inside, a waitress hands you an order form to fill out. Like garlic? Order extra. Not a fan of
green onions? Have them hold it. There are about 6 categories which you can adjust according to your preferences. This is tonkotsu style ramen, so I prefer lots of greens to offset the richness of the broth.
They also have a special red sauce unique to their shop - I suggest getting 2 scoops of the stuff.

Their slow boiled egg comes in the shell, so you have to do a little work to get to it but it's worth it. I judge any good ramen shop by their eggs - they must be slow cooked, the old fashion style - no hard
boiled eggs please! (eggs at ramen shops are like fries at burger joints - it won't make your meal but it can certainly break it) According to the Momofuku Cookbook, Japanese women used to take
baskets of eggs to the hot springs back in the day and that's how they slow cooked their eggs.
If you've never had a slow boiled egg, do yourself a favor and have one. I'm not a yolk lover at all, but I cannot resist the creamy custard yolks of slow boiled ramen eggs.

Ichiran Ramen
Multiple locations in Tokyo
Shinjuku 3-Chome
Shibuya 1-Chome
Roppongi 4-Chome
Tokyo Dome

There is also an Ichiran in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

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