Thursday, January 21, 2016

Bonito Soup Noodle RAIK: like RAIK

The only good ramen shops in Eifukucho have been Taishoken and Kusamura, another sweet shoyu shop. But last summer, another shop was made. As you can see by the title of this post, the concept is bonito, or katsuobushi. There are two types you can choose from, a chuka soba style chicken soup mixed with bonito...

Katsuo x Tori RAIK Ramen (900yen)

...and a thicker pork broth cut with bonito.

Katsuo x Buta RAIK Ramen (900yen)

The chicken has a dark shoyu color and seems like it would be really strong and salty, but the first sip blew my expectations away. It wasn't strong at all, and was actually very refreshing. Some might call this broth too light. The noodles include some kind of wheat, and you can taste the sweetness of the flour as you chew them.

The pork was closer to a tonkotsu gyokai style and, though less memorable than the chicken, was still deep and complex. Apparently, the master soaks pork bones for 12 hours to make the tonkotsu soup, but then spends another two days marinating the broth with the bonito. That's dedication!

Both bowls include a flavored half-boiled egg, two different cuts of pork (seared belly and smoked loin), and a slice of steamed chicken. For 900 yen, that is a bargain!

The master trained at Atago, another shop with a bonito concept, and we could feel his passion for his katsuo. After we finished, there were a lot of people waiting in line, which makes sense since this shop can only accommodate six people at a time. It's a cozy and genuine place, with hip hop music running on a big screen TV in the corner. Everyone should feel good vibes with this cool ramen.

Tokyo, Suginami-ku, Omiya 1-2-3
Closest stn: Eifukucho

Open from 1130-3pm and 530-10pm (closed Mondays)


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