Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Ramen Honda 麺処ほん田: Nippon Soul Food

After Rokurinsha and Ikaruga, it's time to conquer the third ramen shop in Tokyo Ramen Street. Ramen Honda is opened by the disciple of Godfather of Tsukemen (yes, his another disciple runs Rokurinsha).
Left: Honda san of  Ramen Honda and Right: Yamagishi san of Taishoken, the creator of Tsukemen
One thing good about this place is that it offers both the "light-taste" (assari) and "heavy-taste" (kotteri) kind of Ramen. The soup-based ramen is served the assari style while Tsukemen is done "kotteri".

The No. 1 best seller NEO Classique Shoyu is lighter than the Tonkotsu version because the broth is made up of chicken and fish stock. The soup is clearer and less oily, making it even more tempting for one empty the whole bowl of soup. Plus...it has some unexpected ingredients--> Sichuan Peppercorn?!?! (floating dark red bits)

For those who prefer heavier ramen, the Miso Tsukemen (¥930/no egg ¥830) is a delicious option that comes with a bowl of lukewarm dipping sauce made from pork and fish broth.

The noodles here are just of the right thickness to allow the sauce to cling onto them. Interestingly, the Tsukemen comes with a slice of lemon, though it barely helped to reduce the richness of the broth.

Instead of perfectly sliced flat rounds, the chashu came in pinkish-red uneven chunks and there was also pork-belly strips (like our Chinese "烧肉") and black fungus. I actually found myself liking the chashu very much because it has a very chewy bite!

And don't forget to try the "brandy" egg...invented by the chef owner Honda. He calls it the "Adults' Egg" (Otona no Ajitama)

Be it assari or kotteri, ramen is still ramen and thus make sure that bottled water is on standby after your meal to stem the thirst. Overall, I prefer Rokurinsha's tsukemen broth because it contains the special fish powder that makes it extra aromatic. However, the best-selling shoyu ramen is definitely worth trying and proves to be a refreshing change from usual "kotteri" tonkotsu.

Ramen Honda 麺処ほん田
Tokyo Ramen Street

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