When you are in Tokyo, what do you eat? The answer is of course Ramen! You can find a ramen restaurant almost every 100 steps away and this is so true in areas like Shibuya or Ikebukuro or Shinjuku. Luckily on my last night, I had some time to check out the restaurants just below Shibuya Excel Hotel.
Located in an discreet alley of Shibuya, just 10 steps away from the hotel entrance, this ramen restaurant will go unnoticed as there is no loud or huge signboards. The entrance is dimly lit by a huge lantern with 2 signboards showing their most popular dishes.
Just like many ramen restaurants, you can order your ramen through this ticket machine. The machine allows you to select English language so it is tourist friendly. After you purchase the ticket, you can pass it to the chef at the ramen counter. There are about 5 -6 counter seats at level one where you eat facing the chef.
There are 2 tables located at the 2nd level with about 12- 14 seats available. The restaurant also serves free ice water to patrons. Within the small restaurant space, I am surprised to even find a small toilet on the 2nd floor.
I ordered the special edition ramen which has almost everything in the bowl as toppings. There are generous slices of char siew and 2 halves of an onsen egg as well as 3 large pieces of crispy seaweed. There were also thin slices of bamboo shoots and a huge piece of braised pork belly. The broth of the ramen is so thick and milky you can taste the deep flavours of the pork bone used in boiling the soup. The noodles are chewy and springy to the bite. This is one bowl of absolute heavenly soup.
My colleague ordered the spicy noodles which has the same tasty thick broth but with an added spiciness. The soup is spicier than it looks and only spice lovers should try it.
Overall, this bowl of ramen from this humble store is better than any of those branded shops we have in Singapore. I am floored that we chanced upon this lovely restaurant. I even attempted to have a bowl for breakfast before I left for the airport the next day but they only opened at 11 am and my bus was at 10.30 am. I am already missing the umami flavours swimming in my mouth. You must try it if you are in Shibuya.
Address: Japan, 〒150-0043 Tokyo, Shibuya, Dogenzaka, 2 Chome−4, −５
Operating hours: 11 am to 3 am