Ramen is a dish with an endless amount of variations. This means that it is constantly evolving and sometimes chefs may take the flavor or ramen to new unexpected levels. We won’t comment on whether or not these chefs have gone too far, but if you’re interested in the limits of what ramen can be, make sure to check out these shops the next time you’re in Tokyo.
This ramen shop is the epitome of style from their website to their interior design, this is a shop that is pushing the boundary of ramen to new heights. Their name comes from the childhood name of Nobunaga Oda, who is known as the first great unifier of Japan. He was one of the first people to attempt to unite Japan into a single country. Kipposhi uses his name to try and capture some of the bravery and novelty of this immense historical figure into their dishes.
They definitely lived up to the name when they introduced their blue chicken broth ramen （鶏清湯 青）which has a striking color. The flavor of the broth is light and low in fat, which is probably from the special technique called chintan used by the head chef. Their choice to make a blue ramen dish is not only brave but beautiful. The chef, Takao Koizumi, believes in food as an art form and created this dish because he wanted to make something beautiful like the Hawaiian blue sea.
We think he did a fantastic job of recreating the feeling of blue Hawaii. If you can get over the unusual nature of this dish, you might just find your new favorite blue food here in Shibuya.
ajito ism (Oimachi)
This ramen shop specializes in mixing the two foods that college kids arguably love the most, which is, of course, ramen and pizza. Normally, these two cuisines would be the furthest thing from each other, but when you think about it they make sense. They’re both heavy hearty affordable meals that are packed full of flavor.
This shop mixes the ingredients together with the perfect blend of fusion that would make any trendy hipster dive bar cower in fear back home. The reason why the food works so well is that the head chef originally was trained as a French and Italian chef. He used to run a few European restaurant in Tokyo before switching his focus to Italian-Japanese fusion ramen. If you’re interested in tasting some game-changing ramen, you have to come here.
And they also serve some of the most generous portions of chashu I’ve ever seen in a restaurant. If you are in Otemachi then you need to stop by this shop, because honestly where else are you going to find the perfect love child of your favorite food?
Ramen Horiuchi (Shinjuku, Shimbashi)
No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you Ramen Horiuchi is a popular ramen shop that serves a mean bowl of natto ramen. If you’ve been to Japan before or have lived here for awhile I’m sure you’re familiar with the distinct taste of natto. And if you haven’t tried it before, you’re in for a surprise. Natto is a dish made from fermented soybeans and although it may take some time to get used to the stuff is mad delicious and healthy for you too.
For some people, this dish might appear to be an abomination, but people have been slurping up noodles here for years. And it consistently gets rave reviews from its patrons, so they’re definitely doing something right. If you’re feeling brave then we definitely think you should check out this shop the next time you pass by Shinjuku or Shimbashi.
Papapapine is a unique restaurant that had a lot of people distraught after it suddenly closed its original location in Nishi-Okubo. Luckily, the shop reopened in Machida and ramen fans rejoiced everywhere. This ramen shops claim to fame is their use of pineapple.
The broth is made with pineapple juice and even the eggs are soaked in pineapple juice for extra flavor instead of the usual tare or sauce found at most ramen joints. Most of the ramen looks fairly normal despite the pineapple, but some of the special ramen dishes this shop creates look pretty incredible. The photo above is a spicy tantanmen noodle made as a collaboration with Godzilla. And after staring at the dark baby corn, we can really see what they were going for there.
If you want a unique bowl of ramen with some extra sweetness and creativity, we definitely recommend making the journey out to Machida to try their bowls.