Top 5 Ramen Restaurants of 2018
The ranking below is what I consider to be the top 5 restaurants that have opened in November 2017 to now. Number one on this list is what I would consider to be my “Rookie of the Year”. Without further ado….
5. Jyunteuchi Daruma (純手打ち だるま)
Jyunteuchi Daruma opened their doors in March of 2018 with a ton of anticipation as the owner was an ex-employee of the Shichisai brand (Shokudo Shichisai, Menya Shichisai, Kujira Shokudo all part of or ex employees of the Shichisai group). The noodles are exactly like the other Shichisai restaurants in which they up the water content to produce incredibly soft, but chewy textures after massaging each portion individually. The soup is chicken based with a Shoyu tare. One of the purest chicken Shoyu Ramen in Tokyo and definitely deserving of being on the list. Check out my full comprehensive review of Daruma here.
4. Kaibushimen Raik (貝節麺raik)
Kaibushimen Raik also opened in March of 2018 as a new brand of Bonito Soup Noodle Raik. Both locations uses primarily a Bonito stock for the ramen, but Kaibushimen combines it with a clam broth to create an incredibly flavorful seafood broth. Raik has gotten on the shellfish broth popularity, but rather than making a mediocre soup, they ended up creating one that I think rivals long standing shops like Mugi to Olive and Konjikihototogisu. The delicate flavor of the clams in this broth is beyond anything I’ve had and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves a nice seafood ramen. Check out my full comprehensive review of Raik here.
3. Torikoku Chuuka Suzuki (鶏こく中華 すず喜)
Opening in November of 2017, Torikoku Chuuka Suzuki has quickly become a favorite among Tokyo ramen enthusiasts. Specializing in a rich chicken broth ramen, the bowl is an incredibly thick and flavorful shio ramen. If you arrive early enough, order the extra meat option. They only offer a limited number of servings per day so if its available, I highly recommend it! The extra topping is the pictured roast beef and it surprisingly pairs well with this chicken based ramen. Be sure to come prepared to wait however, lines can easily get upwards of 50-60 people. Full comprehensive review here.
2. Teuchishiki Chuutakansuimen Nonokura (手打式超多加水麺 ののくら)
This small little mom and pop shop opened December of 2017 and have quickly established itself in the popular ramen station of Kameari. The noodles are homemade and you can actually watch them making it if you come during non-restaurant hours. The meticulously crafted noodles pairs perfectly with their chicken and fish broth. They serve both Shoyu and Shio varieties here and both are amazing. The oils from the chicken pairs really well with the dried fish they use for the broth and is a great combination of fat and umami. Highly recommend a visit to this up and coming restaurant owned by a lovely, young couple. Full comprehensive review here.
1. Chuuka Soba Manchiken (中華そば 満鶏軒)
Chuuka Soba Manchiken opened with much anticipation in April of 2018 as it was announced as a sister store to the incredibly popular Madai Ramen Mengyo located right across the street. In this short time period, Manchiken has surpassed Mengyo in every internet ramen ranking and its easy to see why. Manchiken specializes in a Kamo, or duck, based ramen using every aspect of the duck as possible. The regular bowl of Kamo Ramen is pictured here, but the main attraction is the Maze Soba if you’re lucky enough to arrive before they sell out. The Maze Soba is a no soup style ramen which includes a slice of their specialty, homemade foie gras. For only 1100 yen, its probably the best bargain for ramen you can find in the city. Check out my full comprehensive review of Manchiken here. Definitely my pick for “Rookie of the Year”.