Friday, October 16, 2015

中華そば しば田 Shibata: duck tales

The summer was remarkably hot, but not matter how hot it gets, the ramen love never ceases. Shibata is a sweaty 15-minute walk from Sengawa station. Rated the top new ramen shop in last year's Ramen Taisho, it's definitely a destination shop, with the master having trained and created many a limited-time bowl at Kichijoji's Raku Raku.

Only open on weekdays, this is also not an easy shop to frequently frequent. Get there when they open and you won't have to wait in much of a line, but the shop fills up quick.

The shop serves both a shoyu and niboshi. Normally we like to try each bowl, but Hearts and I couldn't compromise and we both ended up going with the chuka soba.

Chuka soba with ajitama (850yen)

This is the go-to bowl. The shops takes a page from Hototogisu and uses a mix of niboshi and hamaguri clams for the soup, but also infuses kamo dashi made from large cuts of duck meat, something we haven't ever seen in a ramen. The soup is dark and brown and might look a bit salty, but the seafood and high quality mix of shoyu brings out the clean fat, smoky flavor, and gamey smell of the duck.

These silky Mikawaya Seimen noodles provide the perfect harmony.

The chashu is also soft, chewy, and of very high quality. Hearts regretted not ordering an extra portion, but even the standard comes with three big pieces. A bargain! The pinkness of the meat also provides a colorful contrast to the brown of the soup.

Shibata's chuka soba is umami in every morsel. One of the very best shoyu shops, served in a no-frills setting by a single dedicated master who seems intent on improving every day.

Tokyo, Chofu-shi, Wakaba-cho 2-25-20
Closest stn: Sengawa

Open from 11am-230pm and 530-830pm (closed weekends)


1 comment: