名島亭 Najima-tei

For my second bowl of ramen on this visit to the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum, I went to Najima-tei for some Hakata ramen. This is a Fukuoka-based shop that serves the local specialty, tonkotsu ramen.

02 Looking In

I had already had one small bowl of spicy red miso ramen at Ryushanhai, so I just ordered a small bowl of tonkotsu here. It was a fairly typical bowl of Hakata ramen, topped with a large portion of green onions, some kikurage (a kind of mushroom), and two pieces of pork.

03 Ramen

The soup was a cloudy white. It had a very strong pork flavour with mild traces of garlic. It was quite oily and very hot. This soup was full of flavour and tasted very good.

04 Soup

The noodles were classic Hakata style – thin and straight. I didn’t know I could adjust the firmness of the noodles. If I had known, I would have definitely asked for firm noodles (かため). Still, they were fine. Hakata noodles are the best in my opinion.

07 Noodles

This mini bowl of ramen came with two thin slices of pork. It was lean and fairly tender.

06 Pork

This was a no-frills bowl of Hakata ramen. The soup was very nice, and the noodles were excellent. You really can’t go wrong with Hakata-style ramen.

01 Sign

Score: 7.5/10

Location: On the bottom level of the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum.

Address: 横浜市港北区新横浜2-14-21 新横浜ラーメン博物館B2F (Yokohama-shi, Kohoku-ku, Shin-Yokohama 2-14-21)

Price: Regular – ¥750; Mini – ¥570

Seating: 25 seats, both counter and table

 

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一蘭横浜西口 Ichiran Yokohama Nishiguchi

I first went to Ichiran in Fukuoka back in 2004 and fell in love with the place. I was living in Hiroshima back then, and there wasn’t an Ichiran there at the time. So the only place I could eat Ichiran was in Fukuoka, the home of tonkotsu ramen (also known as Hakata-style). When I moved to Kanagawa in 2010, I was happy to find Ichiran shops located all over Tokyo. I probably ate at Ichiran in either Shinjuku or Shibuya about once a month for the better part of a year. But I think I overdid it and had to take a break. I went back in April in Shinjuku, and it was fantastic. I then visited the shop in Yokohama, near the west exit of the station, in late September. My wife and I had walked 10km from our apartment in pretty hot weather, so we felt like we deserved a treat.

16 Outside

01 Queue

We arrived around 1:30. As usual, there was a queue, but we only had to wait about 10 minutes.

02 Ordering card

At Ichiran, you are given an order card so you can customize your ramen. We filled these out while we waited. I chose a rich flavour, one clove of garlic, green onions, pork, a standard amount of togarashi (red pepper) powder, and firm noodles.

15 Seating area

Inside the seating is in individual booths. And orders are served under a curtain in front of your seat, so there is very little interaction with the staff.

03 Ramen 01

The ramen came topped with green onions, two thin slices of pork and togarashi (red pepper) powder.

06 Noodles 02

Hakata-style noodle are the best -thin, straight, and usually firm. I ordered mine firm, but you can also get them extra firm. I might try that next time.

08 Soup 02

The soup has a nice brownish-red appearance, probably from the togarashi. I ordered mine koi (rich) and kotteri (thick/heavy?). It was just a bit spicy, as I had ordered it.

10 Kaidama 02

11 Kaidama 03

After the long walk, I felt I’d earned kaedama (an extra portion of noodles).

12 Kaidama 04

In the kaedama noodles go!

14 Booth

My booth. I didn’t leave a drop of soup. It was fantastic. I highly recommend a trip to Ichiran for anyone who loves ramen, or just wants a unique dining experience.

Score: 9/10

Location: About 5 minutes on foot from Yokohama Station’s west exit, next to Don Quixote.

Address: 神奈川県横浜市西区南幸2-15-4

Price: From ¥790 (¥980 with kaedama)

Seating: Counter only