Friday, January 10, 2014

永福町大勝軒 Eifukucho Taishoken: my hometown bowl

Belated happy new year from Lum!

Hearts and I spent the new year holiday together in LA, but unfortunately we couldn't have ramen there, though stupid Hearts snuck in a bowl without me.

But inspired by his meal revisiting his roots, I've decided to write about my favorite bowl in my hometown of Eifukucho. There are actually several shops called Taishoken around the Kanto area, and many ramen fanatics debate the pros and cons of these various shops which all have their own style and character. But Eifukucho Taishoken is special and important to me and ramen history in general.

I've had special feelings here since I was little. Taishoken is an old school chuka-soba, a bowl of shoyu ramen with a dashi of lots of niboshi, or dried sardines.

Chuka-men (1050yen)

I recommend getting it with a raw egg on the side for dipping.

Chuka-men with egg (1100yen)

The bowl itself is a little pricey, but it's huge and filling. Be careful that you don't immediately stick your face into the bowl when it's served, because the soup is extremely hot and meant to stay hot until the very last slurp.

They've been serving since 1955, but the taste has stayed the same and they have enduring fame among the locals. I grew up in Eifukucho, and my family often took me to Taishoken. Even when I was a little girl, sharing the bowl with my mom, I always felt the strong and rich flavor of niboshi. And I was always surprised by how many people were waiting in line all day. Watching regulars here slurp is a setting completely natural to me.

If I didn't have Eifukucho Taishoken, I would never have explored the ramen world, let alone write a blog dedicated to my maniacal obsession with ramen. This really is my favorite bowl.

Thanks for reading my inception to a long and winding ramen voyage!

Tokyo, Suginami-ku, Izumi 3-5-3
Closest stn: Eifukucho

Open from 11am-Midnight (closed only during Obon and New Year's day - great hours!)


1 comment:

  1. I am half Japanese half American, born and raised in eifukucho, up until graduating high school, my parents still live there so every time I go home to see them, I have to eat my favorite taishoken! Which is about 3 times a year...
    Too much tonkotsu in Tokyo, in the US, and people don't really know the true ramen, the true Tokyo style chuuka soba...
    I would love to get in touch with you, fellow eifukucho neighbor!

    Daniel in SF