A trip to Japan is not complete without doing a ramen pilgrimage, and Tokyo is the perfect culinary mecca for that. With more than 5000 ramen shops all over the city, one couldn’t run out of options. The question is: where to start?
I stumbled upon Brian Mackduckston’s Ramen Adventures and the name Kururi Ramen Shinjuku stood out to me the most, as a friend had recommended it before. After a quick research, I discovered that it was also crowned as one of the top three ramen by CNN Travel.
And so the pilgrimage begins!
Just from the long queue in front of the store, you could definitely size up the popularity of Kururi Ramen Shinjuku. In front of me was almost twenty people willing to stand out in the cold. I suppose, the waiting is part of the secret ingredients. It keeps you expectant and builds your hunger, so that once you’re in you are more than ready to eat whatever they serve.
After about half an hour, I got in, then the staffs directed me to the ramen vending machine. Here you can choose your ramen, pay, and get your ticket. The ticket is also your order check, so give it to the waiter and they’ll start preparing your meal.
I had their Signature Miso Ramen, and while waiting I couldn’t help noticing in awe how a two-man operation could reach a worldwide recognition. After a while I realized, other than the flavorful broth, the ‘crack factor’ was the vegetables that they fried together with miso paste. They would pour it as the finishing touch to each bowl of ramen before serving it to the clientele.
I savored every bit of it with excitement. All other patrons around me were slurping their ramen like a kid who hasn’t eaten for days, and so I followed them slurping. That’s the best way to enjoy ramen I suppose, and a way to respect the chefs. Don’t forget the ‘oooh’ and ‘aaah’ while you shed your sweat from your face.
For me, all the components in Kururi Ramen are just right. The foamy, milky, rich broth. The texture of the noodle. The pork. The fried miso veggies. It all adds up to create a mouthful of umami experience. I left the place with a big smile, a deep arigatou-gozaimasu bow, and a promise that my ramen pilgrimage should not stop here.
Stay tune for more ramen loving,
Kururi Ramen Shinjuku
Map: 3-2 Ichigaya Tamachi
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Monday to Saturday – 11AM to 9PM
Phone: +81 (0) 3 3269 0801