Friday, April 15, 2016

かおたんラーメンえんとつ屋 南青山店 Kaotan Ramen: the dark shack

I can't believe I never tried Kaotan sooner, especially during my days working in Roppongi.

Ramen (700yen)

Make sure you go to the Minami-Aoyama shop, and not the one in Akasaka that doesn't have half the charm of this place. This little shack looks like it's ready to crumble. The inside is like a packrat's den transformed into makeshift izakaya, the long communal table lined with salarymen eating ramen and throwing back glasses of beer and oolong-hais. You go for the atmosphere as much as the food.

The food is also pretty good. A classic shoyu with chicken oil, topped with fried scallions to bring out the umami. Nothing fancy about this bowl, just a great example of chukasoba done right and priced affordably for everyday slurping. The staple "green" here is supplied by sugar peas, a regular ingredient in Chinese stir-fry and a nice signature for the shop considering it also serves up a lot of Chinese side dishes (including gyoza, of course).

I wish I knew about this place three years ago. It would have saved me many a trip to seedy kebab joints early in the morning.

Tokyo, Minato-ku, Minami-Aoyama 2-34-30
Closest stn: Nogizaka

Open from 1130am-5am (closed Sundays)


1 comment:

  1. The fried scallions to bring out umami sounds great! Also, my first time to see sugar peas on ramen.