Friday, March 7, 2014

喜楽 Kiraku: a serious ramen

Shibuya - the 24/7, fashionable, gorgeous hub for young people. But ramen freaks everywhere love Shibuya for its ramen variety, and Kiraku was here before Shibuya was "Shibuya!!!"

The chef isn't much of a talker, just saying Irasshai! ("welcome to the shop") in a low voice when customers walk in, but he is always hustling to make ramen while supervising his disciples. The other staff work briskly, all movements are efficient, no useless talk here. Everyone has a role, like a ramen assembly line. It was a little nerve-wracking for me, to be honest, but this kind of seriousness is also a sign of seriously good ramen.

We ordered the gomoku-men…

Gomoku-men (850yen)

…and the wonton-men.

Wonton-men (800yen)

The smell of friend onions in the wonton bowl is fantastic. The chewiness of the noodles and the silkiness of the wontons make for a good contrast. The soup looks dark and bitter, but it's actually amazingly light.

The gomoku bowl is a sort of tanmen, filled with fresh vegetables that are crisp and juicy. Both ramens are filling bowls.

Anytime we visit here, the shop is full of customers who crush their bowls in silence. Kiraku has moved their location once, but their style hasn't changed, which is the key to sustaining regulars for such a long time.

Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Dogenzaka 2-17-6
Closest stn: Shinsen

Open from 1130am-830pm (closed Wednesdays)


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