We went shopping in damn hot weather, and to avoid the crowds, we decided to go outside the center of Shinjuku. This turned out to be a mistake, as the 10-minute walk in the blazing sun brutalized our bodies. Awaiting us was the oasis of 2-chome, Tokyo's prime gay nightlife hub and home to Tsukemen Gachi. We don't belong to the former community, but we do like fabulous tsukemen.
The menu here is fabulous as well. Run by the mad ramen scientist Shono Tomoharu (we reviewed his Abura Soba GACHI last year), Gachi has an array of limited-edition options that are finely tuned for the summer sun. It's been a year since Shono-san hosted the first annual "nagashi tsukemen" party there, so we felt the need to see how the shop has evolved since.
With any Shono shop, the only certainty is change. I ordered the hiyashi white, a bowl that consists of coconut milk soup. It tasted like a mild green curry, but was not overwhelming and had a mild spice. The noodles here are thin and pair well with the cold, tangy soup.
|Hiyashi White (790yen)|
If I could be so bold, I believe this is the BEST cold ramen I've ever had. The overall balance of the bowl - the spiciness, the firmness of the noodles, the sourness of the pickled ginger, and the creaminess of the soup - make this the perfect summer ramen. For a change, I was really moved.
|Hiyashi Corn (790yen)|
|Spicy Teriyaki DX (990yen)|
This is a masculine bowl, with a unique chicken base porridge that pairs with the thicker elastic noodles. I imagine this bowl goes well with beer. What's great is that the soup wari comes with a little extra spice and tastes like a Mexican chili bean soup!
Shono's shops never betray our expectations. Every Tokyo branch surprises with its creativity, and Gachi is no exception. The atmosphere is an mishmash of American pop culture, with MJ music blaring and lots of random paraphernalia (police tape on the AC, drum cans for tables). And the tsukemen variety is endless. Gachi is it!
Tokyo, Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 2-17-10
Closest stn: Shinjuku-Sanchome
Open from 11am-11pm