三ツ矢堂製麺 Mitsuyado Sei-men

Mitsuyado Sei-men is a large chain with locations all over Japan, and even one in Manila. I popped into the main shop in Naka-Meguro in August for some for their gyokai tonkotsu ramen. I got there late in the afternoon, and the shop was quite busy given the time of day. The atmosphere is good –  wooden decor and jazz playing over the speakers. There is outdoor seating available, although I can’t imagine sitting outside on a 32 degree day eating a piping hot bowl if ramen.

01 Shop

They have quite an extensive menu, including tsukemen, ramen, and a variety appetizers. Tsukemen seems to be the most popular item on the menu, but I was here for the ramen.

02 Gyokai Tonkotsu Ramen

I ordered a bowl of gyokai tonkotsu ramen. I came with pork, green onions, a tiny piece of nori, menma, and kamaboko (steamed fish paste – it’s white and pink). I love kamaboko in my ramen!

03 Soup

The soup had a nice, fishy flavour. It was thick and not oily. Just look at that lovely brown colour. It was the highlight of this ramen.

04 Noodles

There wasn’t a huge portion of noodles, but they were excellent – straight and chewy.

05 Pork

There was just one piece of pork, but it was so tender it fell apart when I attempted to pick it up with my chopsticks. It was delicious.

This is a very good shop. The quality is high, but the portion is a bit small considering the price. Still, it’s worth checking out if you’re in Naka-Meguro, but I’d recommend nearby Emoto Masahiro.

Score: 8.5/10

Location: Just outside the south exit of Naka-Meguro Station

Address: 東京都目黒区上目黒3-3-9 (Tokyo, Meguro-ku Kamimeguro 3-3-9)

Price: from ¥780

Seating: 44 seats, including outdoor seating

ゴル麺 横浜本店 Goru-Men

Goru-Men – a portmanteau of Golden Ramen – is a small chain with five locations in Yokohama, Fujisawa, and Machida. I went to the main shop in Yokohama, about a 10-minute walk from Yokohama Station. It was a wet Sunday afternoon in July. It was busy, but we got in without waiting. It’s a nice, clean shop that feels like it’s part of a bigger chain than it actually is.

01 Shop

I ordered from the machine just inside the entrance and got a ticket with the details of my order –  gorumen with firm noodles, regular oil-content and richness, with a little minced garlic. The style of the soup is shoyu-tonkotsu.

02 Ticket

It came topped with kikurage (wood ear mushroom), which is always nice in ramen, a generous portion of bean sprouts and cabbage, and one piece of pork.

03 Ramen

The soup was nice. It was a little heavy and had a very strong pork flavour. I left the richness at regular. I can’t imagine how strong it would’ve been if I’d ordered “koi” (extra richness). The soup actually reminded me a bit of iekei ramen.

04 Soup

This ramen came with a heaping portion of thick, chewy noodles. They were very good.

05 Noodles

It also had one slice of soft, juicy pork. It was a bit fatty, but was cooked just right.

06 Pork

This was a good bowl of ramen. There’s not a lot to separate it from other shops. Nearby Yoshimura-ya is a better option, but you’ll have to queue up. If you don’t want to wait there, Goru-men isn’t a bad back-up plan.

07 Counter

Score: 7.5/10

Location: About a 10-minute walk from the west exit of Yokohama Station.

Address: 神奈川県横浜市西区南幸2-18-1 (Kanagawa, Yokohama, Nishi-ku, Minamisaiwai 2-18-1)

Price: ¥830 – Goru-men; ¥750 – Regular ramen

Seating: 11 counter seats; 5 two-seater tables