Written by Chiara Mischke
Blue Ramen?! Kipposhi - A Tokyo Ramen Shop With An Artistic Twist
The blue ramen served at Kipposhi in Tokyo is an Instagram sensation. Read about the inspiration behind it and learn how the famous blue ramen really tastes. And if you're in the Shibuya area, drop by Kipposhi to taste it yourself!
Ramen restaurants can be found everywhere in Tokyo. Some are good, some are bad, but the truly unique ones are rare even in Tokyo.
We would like to introduce you to Kipposhi, a unique ramen restaurant which serves a one-of-a-kind blue ramen.
The Story of Kipposhi
Kipposhi started out as small ramen restaurant located in Oshiage, midway between the popular sightseeing area of Asakusa and Tokyo Skytree. However, recently they moved their location to Shibuya, just 5 minutes walk from Shibuya station.
The owner Mr. Koizumi opened Kipposhi on July 10th, 2016, with the wish that everyone would come to his restaurant to taste a delicious bowl of ramen. He believes in the art of ramen and he is taking this art to the next level.
While the walls of most ramen restaurants are covered brown wood to give them a warm feel, Kipposhi's interior is kept white with light brown wooden accents.
When you first enter, you might have the impression you're in a cafe, but you'll soon realize that the clean white interior serves a purpose in conjunction with the owner's artistic ramen.
The Blue Ramen Inspired by the Hawaiian Sea
Kipposhi's best seller is its blue ramen. It could actually be deemed an “Instagram star”. In January 2017, Mr. Koizumi posted a picture of his blue creation on Instagram. The next day someone featured his blue ramen in an article and after this, the blue ramen went viral in just two days. You can find an endless list of posts and reposts of Kipposhi's blue ramen on Instagram.
Asked about the inspiration behind it, Mr. Koizumi answers that he wanted to create something beautiful that was inspired by the Hawaiian Sea.
How the ramen gets its blue color is Mr. Koizumi's secret, but you can rest assured that his ingredients are all natural.
The blue ramen uses chicken stock as its base. To make the ramen look as reminiscent of the ocean as possible, the soup base has to be clear. However, if you boil chicken stock on high heat, it will become cloudy. To avoid this from happening, Mr. Koizumi uses a Chinese technique called “Chintan”. The chicken soup is boiled together with minced meat. The minced meat collects the particles that make the soup cloudy. After removing the meat, what remains is a clear soup with a delicate meat taste.
Apparently, only one other Japanese ramen restaurant in Tokyo uses this technique.
All the ingredients are carefully selected to come together as a beautiful piece of art. Now, let me show you what I meant by saying that the bright interior serves a purpose.
Here you see the blue ramen on the counter. Against the the cold, white background, the blue color of the dish is really vivid.
However, on the warm, brown table, the blue ramen seems to take on a greenish tint.
Taking color effects into consideration is important if you want to create art and his ramen truly is art.
Another thing you might notice is that Kipposhi's owner has bright pink hair, something that you won't see often in Japan. He says he wants to create a warm contrast to the cold, blue color of his ramen, so he decided to turn himself into the warm color counterpart of the dish.
How Does Blue Ramen Taste?
If you think the ramen only looks vividly blue because of some kind of Instagram filter, you are mistaken.
Once you have it in front of you can’t help but call out “Wow! It's really blue!”
After the initial shock, you might be hesitant to try it because it looks very unreal and not exactly like something that would be tasty.
Mr. Koizumi says that he truly enjoys the customers' reactions to his blue ramen. Most people are shocked and hesitant at first, just to discover that it doesn't taste as crazy as it looks.
The ramen is low in fat and has a very light taste. It's the perfect ramen if you want something that's filling but not heavy. The added chicken slices are extremely juicy and the fresh greens compliment the light taste of the ramen.
The boiled egg has a perfect consistency and flows into the soup as soon as you break it open. As for the noodles, they have a firm bite to them. They are the first thing to be colored by the blue base. However, everything will end up being blue, including the chopsticks.
All in all, it's a very entertaining bowl of delicious chicken ramen.
Kipposhi x Hatsune Miku
Many fans of vocaloid star Hatsune Miku like to drop in for a bowl of blue ramen because the blue shade of the ramen is the same as Hatsune Miku's hair.
For Hatsune Miku's Magical Mirai 2017 (a Hatsune Miku Convention in Tokyo), Mr. Koizumi decided to create and unofficial Hatsune Miku x Blue Ramen collaboration.
Hatsune Miku is often portrayed with a piece of spring onion in her hand. During Hatsune Miku's Magical Mirai 2017, he decided to add some spring onion as a garnish to his blue ramen to pay homage to her.
But the owner of Kipposhi enjoys reinventing his little blue superstar on other occasions as well. On Halloween, for examble, the ramen got a pumpkin makeover, with roasted pumpkin slices, roast pork and bell peppers.
The Menu at Kipposhi and Other Recommendations
Kipposhi offers many different kinds of chicken soup based ramen. Asked for other recommendations, Mr. Koizumi immediately pointed to Richness Chicken Soup “Salt” Ramen. This is a cloudy chicken consommé based ramen, which he recommends even over his famous blue ramen.
This ramen has a richer flavor compared its “blue brother”. It presents itself in warm yellow and red colors, in stark contrast to the blue ramen. We recommend the version with roast pork. The meat is juicy and melts in your mouth. Even though it's not blue, it's a star in its own right.
Enjoy Your Ramen at Kipposhi!
Mr. Koizumi has a true artist's heart and pays attention to every detail. If you eat at Kipposhi, you will not only enjoy a delicious meal but a completely new culinary experience!
Please note that all the pictures where taken in the original restaurant in Oshiage in 2017.
|Address||Tokyo, Shibuya, Jinnan 1-11-5|
|Business Time||Lunch 11:30 - 15:00, Dinner 18:00 - 22:00|
|Accepted Credit Cards||Not Available|
|Menu/Pamphlets in Other Languages||English menu available|
|Nearest station||Shibuya Station|
|Access||5-minutes walk from Shibuya Station|
|Price||800 yen and up|