Tuesday, March 29, 2016

麺屋 六感堂 RockanDo: how green was my valley

Ramen battleground Ikebukuro has been changing over the past several years. Before, many shops served rich and creamy bowls, but recently more ramen chefs are creating bowls with distinctive flavors or concepts. RockanDo is one of them. Don't be fooled by the meat-intensive restaurant next door which often has a line outside and wafts delicious smells out the door towards passersby.

Yuzu mitsuba shio green-men (800yen)

The unique noodles here contain euglena, a bright green, protein-rich, algae type food. Of course, the color of the handmade noodles is green as well, fitting for their trademark "green shio ramen." This one is topped with mitsuba and yuzu for an extra-healthy kick. The noodles are thin but al dente. And refreshing. You might feel your tongue turning green after every bite. The smell is reminiscent of macha green tea (which the shop stocks in abundance), and nicely matches with the shio bowls. The soup is very simple and light, but also tender and a little sweet.

Lum got the shoyu.

Shoyu with ajitama (850yen)

At the bottom of every bowl are the fulfilling kanji kansha (感謝), which means "appreciation" but also thank you (ありがとうございます).

Besides the ramen, the entire interior is unified by hints of green. The waiting bench, water jars, salt and pepper bins, even the towels in the restroom are green. I like this idea of a "green theme," and I hope more shops expand on this kind of sensual concept, rather than just solely on ingredients.

Of course, RockanDo experiments with those too.

We went for a special event and were served a fantastic uni and caviar mazemen, with a light but umami-rich oyster-dashi dipping broth.

One of the best seasonal bowls we've ever had, from one of the great new shops on the Ikebukuro scene.

Tokyo, Toshima-ku, Higashi-Ikebukuro 2-57-2
Closest stn: Ikebukuro

Open from 11am-9pm


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