This kind of ramen is too good to be true as I find most ramen to be very salty and oily.
But yes, I have found Ramen Zero Plus, a place that serves ramen with ZERO seasoning. It has been opened at Omotesando Hills since couple of years ago and is perhaps one of the more comfortable ramen dining spots where you don't have to be compartmentalized into tiny cramped spaces.
But this place is not big either. Choose between the counter seats or table seats that are arranged closely to one another. Before you start, the staff will hand you a black apron for you to put on so as to prevent your clothes from being stained by any juices. The signature or No.1 ranking ramen is Ramen Zero Plus. It which truly surprised my ramen-lover friend and I because the stock taste different from the usual ones and contains a subtle sweet aftertaste despite the lack of seasoning. Perhaps due to the long hours of extracting the natural flavours from clams, scallops, squid, kelp, chicken, dried fish, chicken, pork, vegetables and even...fruits!?!? , the soup takes on an opaque semi-beige cream color that is not diluted at all. It was so slurpy that my friend drank all the soup.
The medium-wave curly noodles are chewier than average. For those who usually aimed for ramen that are below 1000 yen, this bowl may sound pricey at 1100 yen. But, the price tag is justified with the generous amount of ingredients; not only chashu but slices of tender chicken, at least 4 pieces of super-long menma (bamboo shoots) and the perfect ajitama (flavoured egg) with a semi-runny center, besides the delicious stock.
To celebrate Halloween, this shop broke their own rule to come up with this special Black "Kuroi" ramen (1200 yen) that is made with charcoal-blended miso and vegetable paste. The soup (or gravy?) so thick that it could coat the noodles like a plate of Italian creamy pasta.
Instead of chashu, there was a hunk of pork belly about the size of an adult-sized fist which had a very unique tanginess--an attractive taste that stood out from the sea of black even though the meat did not disintegrate as easily as dong po rou. Perhaps my only grudge is that the ramen did not look as good as the poster picture, because the Jack Lantern face (sliced cheese actually) was melting away and became disfigured.
On the "Osusume" (recommended) menu of Ramen Zero plus, there is Tsukemen, "Deluxe" ramen (probably an upsized one) and even a mixed rice bowl with ingredients that you can find in a typical ramen.
Who says a bowl of healthy zero-seasoning ramen is bland and boring?
Ramen Zero Plus ラーメンゼロ Plus
Omotesando Hills Level 3 Shibuya-ku Jinggumae 4-12-10
Mon-Sat 11am-11pm Sun 11am-10pm
Tel: 03-3470-3381 No fixed rest day
Nearest station: Omotesando Hills Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Chiyoda Line, Hanzomon Line) Meiji-jingu Mae Station (Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line) Harajuku Station (JR Yamanote Line)
Counter 10 seats Table 12 seats
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