Thursday, August 25, 2016

ばいこうけん 東京 Baikoken Tokyo: drinking buddies

Whenever I finish my work, I really want to eat ramen as a reward for the day. I was walking around Marunouchi and I found this shop in front of Tokyo station. Baikoken is from Asahikawa, Hokkaido, a region that specializes in shio ramen, but they've spread out to Tokyo and even Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

Shoyu ramen (750yen)

I ordered the shoyu. I didn't expect a lot since the staff wasn't smiling and was pretty cold to the customers. The bowl itself wasn't bad, but didn't have any vivid character. The original shop probably has a different taste.

I've described this bowl negatively, but the shop has a lot of other things going for it, including every kind of ramen (shio, shoyu, miso, limited-time bowls), a lot of appetizers, and many kinds of drinks. If I could drink, I would probably come here to share some appetizers and have some ramen on the side. The menu also has a cute, painterly touch that probably captures the spirit of the main branch.

Tokyo, Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 2-7-2
Closest stn: Tokyo

Open from 11am-11pm


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

臥龍 Garyu: cluckin' delicious

Run by a tough-looking, no-nonsense dude, Garyu is an intimate 8-seat counter that serves up one of the more highly ranked tori paitan options in the city.

Garyu's highlight is their preservative-free chicken soup, which isn't as creamy and cloying as some other thick porridges. Opting for a cleaner, clearer chicken soup cut with seafood broth, this is a subtle chicken soup that packs the umami-richness of other chicken-focused shops without any of that greasy lingering aftertaste that makes your lips glisten after eating it.

Tori chashu men (850yen)

The thin noodles and bright green onions are solid, though the main feature besides the broth here is the fat slices of chicken and pork chashu. The former is steamed with a black pepper coat, while the latter is marinated in a soy sauce blend.

In the summer, Garyu also provides a couple cold noodle options: a wasabi-infused cold paitan...

Hiyashi shamo paitanmen (880yen)

...and a miso paitan hiyashi ramen.

Hiyashi miso ramen (950yen)

Definitely go with the latter option here, as the former seemed like every bite was coated in wasabi paste. The miso, on the other hand, is mixed with some nice chili oil that gives the bowl just enough spice and a cool kick.

Garyu is a neighborhood treasure in Sangenjaya. In the evening, the place doubles as a ramen bar and serves a bunch of other snacks and varieties of shochu. A great place to end (or continue) the night.

Tokyo, Setagaya-ku, Sangenjaya 1-35-3
Closest stn: Sangenjaya

Open from 12-230pm and 6pm-midnight (closed Tuesdays)