Tokyo Base Made by Ippudo is well known globally. You’ll find there shops in a variety of locations such as Shibuya, or Shinjuku. The interior is very modern. Simple matte painted walls, with hangers and people chowing away at ramen. Despite it being a more modern take on ramen it is still a traditional ramen shop in the sense that no one is talking. You can hear the slurping of noodles and the occasional kaedama order (extra noodle order) however because of the way it’s set up, you’re supposed to eat as fast as you can and then get out. Like many ramen shops in Japan you order your meal at a ticket machine and then bring the tickets over to the restaurant workers.
Anyway, I found myself in Shinagawa station after a weekend in Tokyo and while convenience stores have some very palatable food (7-11 has the best bentos btw) I did not want another night of it. So I wondered around the many restaurants in Shinagawa Station and settled for ramen. I went to the ticket booth and ordered the ramen with soft boiled eggs and rice & gyoza set(pot stickers). Upon entering there was no one talking, just a lot of slurping. The waiter poured me a cup of mugi-cha (buckwheat tea) and I took my seat. Most ramen restaurants have garlic in a container already mashed into a paste but Ippudo gives you the whole garlic and a garlic crusher so you can do it yourself. Condiments include grind-able sesame seeds, shoyu (soy-sauce) raiyu (chinese hot chili oil) and vinegar (for the gyoza of course).
The broth is superb. It is really rich and Ippudo makes use of thin ramen noodles. It works really well with the broth. Adding sesame seeds and your freshly crushed garlic only makes it better. I found myself slurping and not chatting with my friend because friends know good ramen is best eaten hot. After taking the time to take a picture of my half eaten food, I realized that the mugi cha went really well with the richness of the broth. Drinking it half way was refreshing. Another order of just noodles is about 150 yen. The broth is really good and they don’t give you a ton but that’s fine. Finishing the bowl is a satisfying feeling. The great thing about Ippudo is that you can find their restaurants everywhere. There seem to be many restaurants abroad so even if you don’t live in Japan you can try this place. Shinagawa Station’s shop is quite the busy but if you find yourself in there I wouldn’t hesitate to try it. Just remember to check the time for your next train before eating here.
You can find Tokyo Base Made by Ippudo’s site here.