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

らすた Rasuta

After having ramen twice in as many days, I decided to make it three in three. But instead of venturing into Tokyo, I stayed a little closer to home and checked out Rasuta (as in rastafarian) near Hiyoshi Station. This shop looks old and has very basic decor. Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” played on a loop the entire time I was there.

01 Shop

I ordered a bowl of Rasuta men from the machine but declined the free rice service. Rice with noodles is crazy unless you’re on a high-carb diet. It was served covered in seven pieces of nori.

02 Ramen

Under all that nori was half an egg, green onions, steamed spinach, and three pieces of pork.

03 Ramen

My first thought was that it looked and tasted like iekei ramen, but there was no sign advertising that style. I wasn’t asked if I wanted to change the flavour of the soup, but the other customers were. It was a bit salty and oily, but not as heavy as you’d expect from other iekei imitators.

04 Soup

The noodles were thick and chewy, and there was a good portion of them.

05 Noodles

It’s not often you get three thick pieces of pork. This pork was a little dry but had a really nice texture. I really liked it.

06 Pork

I would’t go out of my way to visit this shop, but if you’re in the area it’s certainly worth checking out.

07 Counter

Score: 7.5/10

Location: Less than 5 minutes on foot from Hiyoshi Station.

Address: 神奈川県横浜市港北区日吉本町1-5-41 (Kanagawa, Yokohama, Kohoku, Hiyoshi-honcho 1-5-41)

Price: ¥870 (Rasuta men); ¥620 (ramen)

Seating: 19 counter seats

ラーメン吉村屋 Yoshimura-ya

This is where Yokohama’s famous iekei (家系, literally “house-type”) ramen originated. I’d been to many of the imitators that use the iekei label, but this was my first visit to Yoshimura-ya. Apparently anyone wishing to use the iekei label has to first train under Yoshimura-san before starting their own business. Then they are free to adapt the recipe as the like. I arrived on a rainy Tuesday in February just past noon. There was a long queue outside, but fortunately there are almost as many seats outside as there are inside, so that made the wait a little more comfortable.

09 Outside

I was instructed to buy a ticket, which was just a plastic tag, at the machine before joining the queue. Luckily, after five minutes a big group of workers left together, so everyone who was waiting got in easily. Inside it was very working class. There were a few office workers, but the clientele were mostly factory workers. The staff dress in white from head to toe — t-shirt, pants, rubber boots, and towel rolled and tied around the head.

01 Counter view

My order was simple — ramen. As at other iekei shops, you can adjust the firmness of the noodles, richness of flavour and amount of oil. As always, I ordered firm (かため) noodles and left the rest as is. It came topped with three pieces of nori seaweed, some spinach and two chunks of pork.

02 Ramen

Similar to other iekei shops, the noodles were only slightly firm. If there were an extra firm (ばりかた) option, I would’ve taken it. Still, they were nice thick yellow noodles.

04 Noodles

The pork had a really nice smoky flavour. It was just a little chewy, but lean.

04 Pork

Now for the soup. Iekei is known for its shoyu tonkotsu (soy sauce and pork bone) broth, and it was fantastic. It had such a nice brown colour and was full of flavour. The pork really dominated the flavour. It was excellent. This is why people come to Yoshimura-ya.

03 Soup

I think this was the best iekei ramen I’ve had. It wasn’t nearly as heavy or salty as some of the others, and the soup was outstanding. A few years ago, I visited Sugita-ya, which I believe is affiliated with Yoshimura-ya. I’ll try to get down there soon so that I can compare the two.

05 Counter

Score: 9/10

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2-12-6 (Kanagawa-ken, Yokohama-shi, Nishi-ku, Minamisaiwai 2-12-6)

Price: ¥660 (¥760 with extra noodles)

Seating: 26 counter seats and 4 table seats.

福気 Fukuki

Fukuki is yet another ramen shop I found on Ramen DB. It’s such a great website for finding good places to eat ramen. We went there in late January before visiting Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden in Hamamatsucho.

01 Shop

It’s a nice clean shop with a warm atmosphere. It wasn’t busy, which is surprising for a Sunday afternoon in Tokyo.

02 Interior

I ordered kurofuku, the shop’s specialty. Toppings included pork, spinach, leeks, two pieces of nori, a boiled egg and some sesame seeds.

03 Ramen

Fukuki specialises in tonkotsu shoyu ramen. The broth had a very strong smell and was very flavourful. The colour was fairly dark, hence the name “kurofuku”, or black fuku. It was somewhat oily, but not heavy.

04 Soup

I ordered my noodles “katame” (firm). They were thick and wavy.

06 Noodles

There were two types of pork. They were both very tender and tasted really nice.

05 Pork

I liked this shop. There are so many place to eat in Hamamatsucho, so I’d like to check out some of the other shops in the area next time I’m there. But Fukuki is worth visiting.

Score: 7.5/10

Location: About 2 minutes from Daimon Station; about 10 minutes from Hamamatsucho Station

Address: 東京都港区芝大門2-1-1

Price: ¥900

Seating: Counter: 8 Table: 8

前田慶次郎 Maeda Keijirou

I always like to try local ramen whenever I travel. We were in Kanazawa over the New Year break but it seemed that most places were closed for the holiday period. Luckily, we found this place in the Katamachi area. It was a cold night in late December, so we were both looking forward to a bowl of ramen to warm us up.

01 Shop

The shop is quite small – only a counter with eight seats, four of which were occupied when we arrived. The guy who runs the place didn’t seem particularly friendly, but the atmosphere of the shop was good.

03 Interior  02 Interior

I ordered Keijirou ramen, which has a tonkotsu shoyu base. Omori was available for ¥110, but I decided against it as the regular portion looked quite large. The master offered garlic, which I accepted. The amount of garlic was huge. I later heard other customers asking for half a serving of garlic. If I had known that was an option, I would’ve requested it – I could still taste and smell garlic 3 hours later when I was getting ready for bed.

05 Ramen

The portion was huge. It came topped with two thick slices of pork, cabbage, chopped onions, green onions, a mountain of bean sprouts and at least three cloves of minced garlic.

06 Soup

The soup was a nice brown colour with a lot of flavour and a light amount of oil to keep it hot on a cold night.

08 Noodles

The noodles were thick and chewy. I didn’t order omori (extra noodles), but the portion was huge. I can’t imagine how someone could eat more. But I heard other customers ordering omori.

07 Pork

The pork was excellent – thick, soft and smoky. And it came with two slices.

This is a good shop. It’s small, but seems to get a lot of regular customers. The portion was huge and very filling. It really hit the spot on a cold December night in Kanazawa. If I went back, I’d get less garlic. But apart from that, it was great.

Score: 8/10

Location: Near Kohrinbo 109

Address: 石川県金沢市片町2-7-1 羽岡ビル1F

Price: ¥800; ¥110 for extra noodles

Seating: eight counter seats

武虎家 Taketoraya

I’d been to Taketoraya a number of times before reviewing it. But I’d only been there late at night after having too much to drink and catching the last train home from Tokyo. I finally decided to visit during the day and do a proper review. I went on a Monday in mid-December. Taketoraya is a small shop that serves Yokohama iekei ramen.

05 Shop

I ordered a regular-sized bowl of ramen and opted against the free rice service which is made available at lunchtime. My ramen came topped with spinach, nori, green onion, and one thick slice of smoky pork.

01 Ramen

The soup has a nice brown colour. I ordered it with less oil. It’s pretty good, but salty and quite heavy. You definitely feel like you need to drink about two litres of water after eating this ramen. I usually finish all of the soup whenever I have ramen, but I couldn’t finish this soup. I was just too full.

03 Soup

At Yokohama iekei shops, you can order your noodles soft, regular or firm. I always order firm. The noodles were the typical thick Yokohama-style, but they weren’t as firm as I would have liked.

04 Noodles

This isn’t a bad shop. I prefer Tsunashima Shoten for iekei ramen though. I just find the soup is too salty and heavy. I might go back here again, but probably only late at night after a few drinks since it’s the only place in this area that stays open past midnight.

Score: 6/10

Location: About 2 minutes from Tsunashima Station

Address: 神奈川県横浜市港北区綱島東1丁目6−24

Price: ¥650 for nami; free rice at lunchtime

Seating: Counter only – 9 seats

横浜家系綱島商店 Tsunashima Shoten

Tsunashima Shoten is located just outside the east exit of Tsuanashima Station. I’ve been there a number of times, but this was my first visit in nearly a year. Tsunashima Shoten serves Yokohama Iekei (literally “home-style”) ramen, which has a shoyu-tonkotsu (醤油豚骨) base. This place is usually busy, and there are often people queued up outside in the evening. We went on a Monday afternoon just before 2:00 and didn’t have to wait for a table.

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The shop is very bright and colourful, both inside and outside, and the staff are very friendly. They energetically welcome customers to the shop and thank those who are leaving, all while shouting orders to the chefs. In fact, their T-shirts say 煩くてすみません (“We apologize for being so noisy.”). I don’t mind the noise as it adds to the atmosphere.

image

All iekei ramen shops offer to adapt the firmness of noodles, richness of soup and oil content to suit the taste of each customer. I requested firm noodles (かため), but left the soup as it was. Like most iekei ramen, the soup here is rich, salty and a bit oily. It tastes fantastic at first, but it sometimes gets a bit heavy towards the end. It was topped with spinach, three pieces of nori seaweed, a quail egg, some chopped leek and a soft, thick piece of chashu.

image[1]

Iekei noodles are thick and a bit wavy. As I mentioned above, I requested firm noodles. I’m not a bit fan of soft noodles, so I always request them firm. They were just right.

image[2]

I prefer the original Yokohama iekei shop, Yoshimura-ya. But Tsunashima Shoten is a good local option. The soup is a bit salty, but it’s full of flavour, and has excellent chashu and delicious noodles.

Score: 7.5/10

Location: Just outside Tsunashima Station’s East Exit

Address: 神奈川県横浜市港北区綱島西1-1-29

Price: From 650 yen

Seating: 10 counter seats and 3 tables (8 seats)