Your average Ichiran Ramen just won’t do for this luxurious Tokyo neighborhood.
Out of Tokyo’s plentiful and diverse neighborhood’s, Ginza is the one place you don’t want to go if you’re on a budget. Along with having streets lined with designer brands from around the world, they’re also known for serving up expensive versions of average cuisine, like this 2,500 yen ramen we tried last year.
On October 10, Ichiran will open a branch in this Tokyo’s high-class neighborhood; but it’s not just any old Ichiran, it’s a fancy one. It’s being advertised as a “Premium Shop,” most of which are specialty shops in Japan’s Kyushu area. That means the Ginza branch will be the first Premium Shop in Tokyo.
So, what makes it so special? Ginza Ichiran will specialize in “natural tonkotsu ramen” (天然とんこつラーメン in Japanese) that has a rich pork bone broth that doesn’t leave the stomach feeling heavy and comes with a dollop of “secret red tare” sauce, a blend of chili peppers and about 30 other spices and seasonings. It’s served up in a multi-tiered box to keep ingredients separate until you’re absolutely ready to eat it.
▼ The noodles and broth are going to be made specially for this branch, so if you think “Whatever, it’s still Ichiran,” then think again.
Another fun quirk about Ginza Ichiran is that it has no seats and no private rooms; it has just 24 “flavor concentration” counter spaces where you can do nothing but savor and contemplate the matsuri festival going on in your mouth.
Each bowl will run you 1,180 yen (US$10.89), so be prepared for a quality experience. Since Ginza Ichiran will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. the next morning, you can pop in for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or after a night out on the town.
If you’re looking for a pork-free alternative to Ichiran Ramen, you can check out their non-pork broth branch located in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood.
Address: Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Ginza 8-3-11 Wako Bldg. B1
Open: 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. (next day)
*Closed occasionally for maintenance