To die for noodles covered in mouth-watering chashu at Toshima-ku, Tokyo's Kitaotsuka Ramen!
Have you ever heard of Kitaotsuka Ramen’s chashu ramen?
The dish is apparently covered entirely with melt-in-your-mouth chashu, or braised pork belly. I headed to Kitaotsuka in Tokyo’s Toshima ward to try it for myself!
Turn right after exiting from the north exit of the JR Yamanote Line’s Otsuka Station.
Then, continue until you’ve crossed two intersections, go a little farther, and you’ll soon find yourself in front of Kitaotsuka Ramen. In total, it’s about a 3-minute walk from the station.
Its orthodox exterior gives off a familiar and welcoming vibe.
You can select your desired amount of noodles and level of spiciness.
First off, I bought my meal ticket from the vending machine, as is standard. The menu was simple: you can choose from ramen, chashu ramen, or an extra spicy version of either of them. Since I’m a major fan of spicy food, I opted for the extra spicy chashu ramen and didn’t look back.
After arriving at my seat and handing over my meal ticket, I was asked about my desired amount of noodles and level of spiciness. Regular and medium servings of noodles are the same price. The "half" option on the menu, on the other hand, was actually in reference to the level of spiciness. You could choose from half, medium, or extra spicy.
I went with medium for the noodles and extra spicy for the flavour.
The mountain of chashu is scrumptious!
The extra spicy chashu ramen I had eagerly awaited was finally presented before me! It was quite a feast for the eyes. Seeing it in front of me, all I could think about was how delicious it looked.
Just look at this sea of chashu! You can’t even see the noodles beneath it!
The minced meat cooked in Chinese chili oil even looked spicy.
The umami of the meat and the spiciness of the chili oil enhanced the flavour of the shoyu-based soup dramatically. The noodles were on the softer side and slightly curly. Yum!
Despite the “extra spicy” label however, it wasn’t so spicy that someone like myself would have much trouble eating it. Keep that in mind and you won’t be disappointed.
Sweet in flavour and soft and fatty in texture, the chashu was simply to die for! It felt like there was enough chashu to last a lifetime, but alas, it was so good I couldn’t stop eating it.
Afterwards, I ordered a small serving of rice and made my own mini chashu rice bowl! It tasted amazing with rice too, as could be expected!
Basically, this restaurant is known for their abundant in chashu ramen—and for good reason. It’s no wonder people get hooked. Even I was mesmerized by its magnificent flavour and would definitely return for more.
They may run out of soup, so beware!
After I entered, a couple more people came in behind me, but after that there were no more customers. I thought it strange, until I finished and saw a sign on the door reading “Sorry, we’re out of soup!” as I left.
Wow! The place sure is popular, and I was lucky to be one of their last customers for the day. It wasn’t that there were no more customers, but rather that they wouldn’t let any more customers in. It all started to make sense.
When Kitaotsuka Ramen runs out of soup, that’s when they close for the day.
If you decide to visit, I suggest you go earlier in the day to guarantee you’ll be able to try their outstanding ramen!
Basic information on Kitaotsuka Ramen
- 1-14-1 Kitaotsuka, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
- 3-min walk from JR Yamanote Line’s Otsuka Station
- 11:00-14:30, 17:30-23:00