Friday, October 30, 2015

Japanese Soba Noodles 蔦 Tsuta: drifting elegant

Our other favorite shoyu ramen shop in Tokyo, Tsuta is more elegant than Shibata in both appearance and presentation despite being located in the "granny paradise" of Sugamo. When we first went, the shop was still and quiet, the customers silently revering the master's prep work like one would at a sushi counter. The shop is a little more relaxed now, with pop music playing in the background.

The shoyu was chosen as one of a select few ramen shops to grace the Tokyo Michelin Guide. The chicken-stock soup is comprised of a blend of several different high quality shoyu (including a smoked shoyu from Wakayama) and seafood dashi (including clams and konbu from Aomori), but the master recently leveled up the already strong bowl through the infusion of Italian truffle oil. The fragrance and taste now brings out the fowl, but also hints of mushroom. This is a bowl that understandably appeals to Westerners.

Ajitama shoyu soba (950yen)

The shio isn't as eye-popping, but is no less attentively constructed. Using clams and sea bream for the dashi, Okinawan sea salt for the soup, and topping it off with olive oil, this is another bowl that combines Japanese and Western flavors.

Ajitama shio soba (950yen)

Everything here is homemade and uses no artificial flavors or preservatives, including the delicate but firm noodles.

Shio and shoyu serving shops have really stepped up their game in the last couple of years, and Tsuta is one of the best examples of bowls that are approaching culinary art.

Tokyo, Toshima-ku, Sugamo 1-14-1
Closest stn: Sugamo

Open from 11am-4pm (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays)



  1. I'm definitely hitting this joint up when I visit Tokyo soon! So glad I came across your post. I've always been into intense broth but I'm so interested to try their shoyu ramen .

    1. You definitely should. What it lacks in intensity it makes up for in depth.