Top 5 Shoyu Ramen in Tokyo
5. Jyunteuchi Daruma (純手打ち だるま)
My finalist for Rookie of the Year (2018), Jyunteuchi Daruma has introduced themselves to the ramen world with a fantastic bowl of classic shoyu ramen. Coming from the school of Shokudo Shichisai (former apprentices here have opened Kujira Shokudo and Menya Shichisai among others), Daruma brings the chewy, thick noodles from the Shichisai brand and combines it with his take on classic shoyu ramen soup. Having just opened earlier this year, I’m excited to see how this bowl grows as it adjusts during this beginning learning period. Regardless, this bowl is already a top 5.
4. Yakumo (八雲)
Opened in 1999, Yakumo has been pumping out quality ramen for years. They specialize in two soup broth bases; a white shoyu and a dark shoyu. Both are incredibly good, but the white definitely takes top prize here. A lot lighter than the rest of the shoyu ramen on the list, the soup is a perfect pairing to their famous wontons. They offer both meat and shrimp wontons made in house and the soup brings out the incredible flavor of both.
(Check out an in depth review of the restaurant here)
3. Teuchishiki Choutakansuimen Nonokura (手打式 超多加水麺 ののくら)
Run by a husband and wife couple, this mom and pop shop has been consistently fending off competitors in the immensely popular ramen market of Kameari. Noodles are handmade daily and on full display through the glass windows in front of their shop. The soup is an homage to old school shoyu ramen; an opaque, dark shade brimming with deep soy flavor. The fat and oils from the chicken broth float to the surface, coating your lips with every spoonful. The thin slices of leek and onions help cut through some of the fattiness and the perfectly cooked soft boiled eggs adds a level of creaminess to the bowl. Nonokura’s family atmosphere only adds to the heartwarming feeling you get when finishing this bowl.
2. Menson Rage (麺尊Rage)
I had a really difficult time ranking Menson Rage and the number 1 restaurant on our list because of how amazing both of these bowls are. To be honest, these two are in a tier of their own. The Lebron James and Steph Curry of shoyu ramen. Menson Rage is unique in that they use a variety of chicken called Shamo (軍鶏), used primarily for cock fighting in Southeast Asia. The broth that comes from this is unlike other chicken broths I’ve had before and the gaminess of the chicken comes through every bite. Perfect homemade bamboo shoots, slices of roast pork, and sprouts garnish the bowl with an extra charge for the egg and more roast pork. An incredibly rich and flavorful soup, the meticulous dedication to detail is on full display as each aspect compliment each other in this bowl.
1. Ramenya Toybox (ラーメン屋 トイ・ボックス）
Ramenya Toybox may be a bit out of the way, located in Arakawa city near the Minowa train station, but it definitely takes the top prize for best shoyu ramen in Tokyo. The chef blends his picks of the highest quality chicken in Japan to draw his broth. The fats and oils taken from these handpicked chicken are blended with 4-6 handpicked shoyu to create the Tare for his ramen. What results is an incredibly, rich, deep and flavorful bowl you’ll not soon forget and coming back for more. The fine, thin noodles are a perfect pairing to the soup and the roast pork and bamboo shoots help give some much needed texture to the dish. Not a ton of toppings here, but extra fixings aren’t needed. The bowl is perfect as is and takes my spot for number 1 on this list. A must go for any ramen connoisseur.