Wednesday, March 24, 2010

虎龍 (Kotatsu)

This one is pretty low key. My buddy Y and I met up to grab lunch on the way to school, so decided to hit up one of the recently opened shops in Shinjuku.


Located right in the heart of Kabukicho, Japan's most notorious evening entertainment district, Kotatsu (Tiger and Dragon) is just down the block from some seriously old school sex shops. Maybe they chose the name to express virility and/or alacrity, such as one might need when cruising cabaret clubs? Like most Kabukicho ramen joints, it's open until 4 AM, or 29:00 in Japanese parlance.


Kotatsu just opened a couple of months ago, and it was recommended by the team at A, Gachamen. Though there's no direct lineage, Kotatsu, like Gachamen is one of many shops offering miso ramen in the model of Sapporo's famous Ramen Sumire.


When the bowls came out they seemed to be essentially standard to the Sumire model - medium light brown miso with lots of oil on top, stewed white onions, medium curly bright yellow noodles. One beef (as it were), was the excess amount of ground pork. I ordered my bowl with no meat, making it clear I didn't want the ground meat as well as passing on the sliced pork châshû, but that's not what happened. Negative points for not listening to customers.


The soup was tasty enough, very rich miso with hints of garlic and ginger, a very solid egg, and noodles without fault. All in all a solid bowl, but if you want to eat the best Sapporo-style ramen in Tokyo, get thee to Junren, two stops up the line in Takdanobaba. Sister shop of Sumire, I've yet to find a traditional miso bowl to top that one. All in all, this is probably one of, if not the strongest miso options in the Shinjuku area, but it's probably not journey-worthy.

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