📍 Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan
Ichiran Ramen is highly recommended everywhere, and with it’s interesting booth concept, I was excited to try it as well after the many raving reviews and the different eating style.
I originally wanted to try Ichiran at night, but there was a huge lineup that went out the door and onto the streets, so I decided to give it a go in the morning instead around 9-10am and voila! Barely anyone and the wait time wasn’t unbearable.
You order your ramen via a vending machine (classic Japan). There weren’t much options into ordering the ramen, but you’re still able to customize it with extra meat, eggs, etc.
After lining up to order via the machine, you enter another queue which was to wait for a seat. While waiting for a seat, an employee will ask your preferred language as they have the customization menu in English, Chinese and Japanese. She handed me the paper and the clip board to circle/indicate my preference. After I was done, I was handed the paper and the clip board was passed onto the next customer.
More preferences like the firmness of noodles, thickness of the broth , spiciness, amount of onions and what type of onions, etc.
After getting a booth, you hand in your ticket (from the vending machine) with your customization paper (from the employee) together to the person who is attending to you through the booth. You don’t get to see the person’s face unless necessary, so you mostly see hands when you submit your papers and get your food items.
Before eating, they also say something and they bow to you behind the screen, blessing you with a good meal, I believe.
Though I am a spicy lover, I always go lower to test the actual spice level before bumping it up the next time I come. So I chose the Level 1 spice and I shouldhv went higher, hahaha. They had spicy levels till Level 20… Yep, 20!
My choices were very safe, most of the options were regular, and chose probably the most basic ramen bowl option. But boy oh boy, was it good even though it seemed like every option I chose was basic.
The broth was easy to drink and flavourful, I personally like my ramen noodles firm and it was delightful. Even though the spice didn’t send any kick my way, it was still delicious to have that taste mixed in! I also liked how extra meat, onions, seaweed and the black fungi were given separately so I can eat them at my own pace. I personally also don’t like how the seaweed is inside the bowl sometimes because the seaweed gets soggy really fast and I like mine kind of crunchy!
And if you can’t get enough, you can ask for more noodles at an extra cost through another customization sheet (at the top right hand corner)!
The booth is actually quite cramped and some people put their bags on the floor while they eat. Fear not, Ichiran Ramen actually has a little bag holder underneath each table to hang your bag while you eat! Great for us, am I right ladies? 😉
With so many locations in Tokyo, you’ve got to make a pit stop at Ichiran Ramen!
Ichiran Ramen is definitely one of a kind, and their ramen did not disappoint! My only regret (as of all my foodie regrets) is that I didn’t come here a second time 🙁 !!
Till next time, ❤️
For more Ichiran Ramen – Official Website & Yelp @ Shinjuku location