Friday, February 10, 2017

蔭山樓 Kageyamaro: as good as it gets

It seems like we're always writing about the "best tori paitan we've ever had" on this blog. But tori paitan just seems to be getting better and better - creamier, less greasy, and with greater chicken essence. Maybe there's some shoyu ramen and tsukemen fatigue in Tokyo, but more and more, chefs are trying to coax max flavor from high-quality birds, and this is resulting in better and better chicken noodle soups.

Kageyamaro, with branches in Ebisu and Jiyugaoka, is the newest standard bearer. 

Tori paitan (980yen)

Reminiscent of the now defunct Usagi Shokudo, they serve a refined bowl that is topped with greens and comes accompanied by various garnishments, including a lemon tucked underneath the bowl.

Man, is this stuff good. The details here - the strings of steamed chicken, the various textures of the greens, the umami-rich egg, the squirts of lemon midway through - all give the right accents and zest to the creamy soup and soft, thick noodles.

They give you a scoop of rice to soak up that leftover chicken, too.

It's also, at 1280 yen for a dinner bowl, a little expensive. Kageyamaro is a full-service Chinese restaurant, and your fellow slurpers will likely be idle wives of rich businessmen ordering shark fin soup, so if you just want to chow down on tori paitan (or the delicious tantanmen with hazelnuts), lunch is the better option. This is, for now, as good as it gets.

Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Ebisu 3-2-2
Closest stn: Ebisu

Open from 1130am-3pm and 6-10pm