Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Kôryû (康 竜), Shinjuku

(Also in: Naka-Meguro, Akasaka, Ikebukuro, Ginza, Akihabara. Directions: JR Shinjuku Station, East Exit - see map)

What: ramen (tonkotsu)
Recommendation: jibun-shitate ramen (do-it-yourself ramen), 750 yen
Verdict: Nice (3.8/5)

The Story
Out on my weekly ramen excursion with Willow, this time we decided - or rather, I followed Willow's suggestion, to try the do-it-yourself ramen at Kôryû. Located near the East exit (Luminé Est and the Kôban). Didn't know much about the place, except what Willow told me: You get to put together your own ramen - that is, the topping.

The Place
Fairly standard, cozy retro-ish dark wooden panelling, only counter seats on the first floor, which would be ok, if there'd been a little more leg room - they certainly didn't have us gaijin guys in mind when they furnished the place.

The Noodles
Ok, rather than the noodles, it's the topping that's the thing here. For 750 yen, you get to choose four different toppings - I went for extra pork (kaku-ni), fried garlic (age-ninniku), the half-boiled egg (hanjuku-tamago) and the bamboo sprouts (menma).

The noodles are of thin hoso-men type, and they are thin indeed. I don't mind that in itself, but it makes it even more important that they're not overcooked. In this case, they could do with a little more bite - in this sense, I prefer Ippûdô's system where you can choose the al dente-degree of the noodles.

The soup, though, was full and rich, a treat in itself.

Has the jury reached its verdict?
All in all a good ramen experience. Excellent soup, loads of goodies on top. Shame the noodles weren't quite up there with the rest. Can definitely recommend it if you're in the area.

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