But for a more traditional Hakata-style bowl, Gotaru is a great option. This is a vendor-style yatai transposed into a storefront. Just a counter and a couple, serving patrons quickly and efficiently.
Hakata, Kyushu is famous for bowls of hot, milky white pork bone soup. Also, cheap. At 600 yen a bowl, Gotaru gets right at what Hakaya-style is supposed to be. Get the standard...
|Ajitama ramen (700yen)|
...top it with a mountain of kikurage wood-ear mushrooms...
|Kikurage ramen (700yen)|
...or get it spicy hot. It's all delicious and topped with some of the most savory thin-sliced pork belly I've ever had.
|Akakara ramen (650yen)|
Any good Hakata-style shop will offer plenty of toppings to trick out your soup. Grated garlic, pickled ginger, and spicy greens are your usual suspects. While there are no rules to eating ramen, don't be a rube and start throwing in everything before you take your first bite. Savor the broth, - the product of many hours of intense labor - for a few sips before you mutate it to your own desire.
Gotaru is one of the few places you can get a half order of extra noodles. Another idea for customized dining that I wish more shops would adopt.
Grab a beer, a bowl, and chill.
Tokyo, Nakano-ku, Arai 3-38-10
Closest stn: Numabukuro
Open from 1130am-11pm (closed from 230-5pm Tuesday-Friday)