Three Unique Ramen Shops In Ikebukuro
FOOD

Three Unique Ramen Shops In Ikebukuro

Tokyo 2017.06.19

If you're visiting Ikebukuro, we recommend checking out the ramen shops there - since it's the ramen holy land of Tokyo. Here are three recommendations that stand out for their uniqueness.

Translated by Lester Somera

Just a Kansai guy trying to get by

Written by Inubushi Yoshiyuki

During your trip to Japan, you just have to taste ramen noodles, a dish that the locals take so much pride in. So you may as well try some novel and unique ramen.

This time, we’ll introduce you to three special ramen shops in the “ramen holy land” of Ikebukuro, which have garnered a lot of attention.

1. Menya Hulu-lu, a Cool Hawaiian Ramen Shop

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First on the list is Menya Hulu-lu, which has a Hawaiian theme and the vibe of a stylish cafe. While the menu is only available in Japanese, the staff can all speak English, so you can talk to them if you need something and they will kindly assist you.

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All of Hulu-lu’s menu items come with soba noodles, so you can enjoy a light-tasting, soba-esque ramen dish. In particular, the salt soba (780 yen, pictured above) uses golden chi-yu oil* to give the dish a silky-smooth texture. The vivid toppings, piled on the noodles, draw out the flavor of the soup. If you like light soups, we recommend Hulu-lu!

The restaurant has different menu items according to the day of the week, so you can discover new flavors each time even if you come several times a week.

*Chi-yu oil is derived from chicken meat.

2. Tori no Ana - The Place to Go for Chicken Paitan Ramen!

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The second ramen shop, Tori no Ana, specializes in chicken paitan ramen and is located five minutes away from Ikebukuro Station’s east exit on foot. Chicken paitan is notable for its soup, which mainly consists of simmered chicken bones and chicken meat, and contains plenty of collagen from the broken-down bones.

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The order machine has an English display in addition to pictures as of January 2016, so it’s easy to stop buy even if you don’t speak any Japanese. Apparently, there are plans to continue to add new languages other than English.

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The most popular item at Tori no Ana is the chicken paitan ramen. The paitan soup is full of concentrated chicken flavor, and because it also contains potato and corn paste, it has a mellow taste and potage-like consistency that entwines with the noodles very well. Its char siu and minced soboro toppings are also made with chicken, so the whole bowl is engineered for you to be able to enjoy the taste of chicken to your heart’s content.

Also, an “ajizuke tamago,” a hard-boiled egg seasoned with soy sauce and mirin that is also etched on Tori no Ana’s logo, is 100 yen, but if you bring your own chopsticks you can get this topping for free. Why not buy a pair of chopsticks to commemorate your visit to Japan, and debut them at Tori no Ana?

If you’ve never eaten chicken paitan ramen before, by all means, try it for the first time here.

3. Ramen Containing Euglena? Menya Rokkando

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The last shop on our list is Menya Rokkando. This shop is known for its green noodles made with kneaded euglena. These protists contain 59 kinds of nutrients, and because they are highly digestible, you can efficiently get balanced nourishment from them.

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This is the most popular item on the menu, the green noodles with yuzu and mitsuba in a salt broth (950 yen). The soup uses no pork or chicken, only seafood products. In addition, its low oil content makes it a healthy option. This health-focused ramen overturns the very concept of what “ramen” has meant up to now! The green noodles are thin, without any particularly strong smell, and slide smoothly down your throat. The yuzu and mitsuba toppings provide a very refreshing aroma, and the exquisite soup makes great use of the ingredients.

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From the left, the stylish condiment containers hold flavored oil, ground black pepper and shichimi spice. Their ratios have been calculated to go with all of Rokkando’s various ramen offerings. Their addition changes the flavor completely, especially the homemade flavored oil, whose homemade blend lends an immediate flavor punch. It's fashionable to have many different ways to enjoy the noodles.

In Closing

What did you think? If any of these ramen shops piqued your interest, definitely check them out.

Every day, unique ramen shops open in Japan. If you enjoyed these ramen spots, next time, perhaps you’ll discover another one for yourself by just walking around.

You May Also Like:
Three Ikebukuro Ramen Shops Worth the Wait
Three Notable Miso Ramen Spots in Ikebukuro

Information

Menya Hulu-lu

Address: Tokyo, Toshima, Ikebukuro 2-60-7
Hours: Monday, Wednesday-Saturday 11:30-15:00 18:00-21:00 (restaurant closes when soup is sold out), Sunday and holidays 11:30-15:30
Closed: Tuesday
Credit cards: No
Other Languages: English
Access: 10 minute walk from West Exit of Ikebukuro Station
Price: Up to 1000 yen
Phone: 03-3983-6455
Website: Menya Hulu-lu (Japanese)

Tori no Ana

Address: Tokyo, Toshima, Higashi-Ikebukuro 1-39-20, Keita Building 1F
Hours: 11:00-22:00 (until soup runs out)
Closed: No fixed holidays
Wi-Fi: No
Credit cards: No
Menus in Other Languages: English
Access: Five minute walk from East Exit of Ikebukuro Station
Price: Up to 1000 yen
Phone: 03-3986-2811
Website: Tori no Ana (Japanese)

Menya Rokkando

Address: Tokyo, Toshima, Higashi-Ikebukuro 2-57-2 Cosmo Higashi-Ikebukuro 101
Hours: 11:00-21:00 (until everything is sold out)
Closed: No fixed holidays
Wi-Fi: No
Credit cards: No
Menus in Other Languages: English
Access: Eight minute walk from East Exit of Ikebukuro Station
Price: Up to 1000 yen
Phone: 03-5952-6006
Website: Menya Rokkando (Japanese)

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