Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Burned Ramen" from Gogyo, Tokyo

Kogashi Shoyu Ramen Haafu Saizu

Damn - this f*ckin' kicked a$$! The black broth might look rather hideous, but I assure you that the aroma coming from this bowl was one of the most inviting scents I'd ever come across. See, the reason why it was black was because these guys (Nishi-Azabu 1-4-36, Rojiman Nishimashi 1F in the Roppongi area, 03-5775-5566) created what they call kogashi ramen, or "burned ramen." I don't know what exactly they do to give it that burned taste, but huge flames flare up in the kitchen whenever it's ordered, so they're doing something magical back there.

Yup - if you like the carbon-scorched taste of meat on a fire, then you'll like this stuff. (As one of my friends put it when he ate it, "Holy sh*t! It's like I'm drinking yakiniku!") I grabbed the kogashi shoyu version, which was much more polished than the coarser kogashi miso, but both were so enjoyable that I slurped them up (mind you, this was just after a complete yakiniku meal about an hour earlier, so I really had to have liked it if I willingly force fed myself both bowls). The broth was also scorching hot in temperature thanks to a heavy layer of clear oil sitting on top insulating it all in. Yes, I know - get a heart attack and cancer all in one go, but oh was it good!

Hands down, this was one of the best bowls of ramen I'd ever eaten, and I definitely prefer this over Jyangara. These guys are apparently run by a bigger shop called Ippudo with a specialization in Hakata-style ramen, so I suppose that one of the other reasons why I liked this so much was because all of the beautiful carcinogens rested on a tonkotsu base. And I'd told that no other shop makes anything similar yet, so this is definitely going to become one of those rare things that you start dreaming of when you leave. I can't wait to go back.

14 comments:

Bongo said...

Wow . . . looks and sounds great. I'm not a huge fan of Jyangara, but love Ippudo. There are several around the Roppongi corridor, including one at Roppongi crossing and one in Ebisu, around the corner from Tsukumo ramen (writen "99 ramen" in kanji/kana for some reason), which is another favorite.

You can find Ippudo in Google Earth. Just navigate to Roppongi crossing and search for "Ippudo ramen"

Anonymous said...

it nice. good work man

Hanna said...

If you are in Tokyo, you might want to drop by Ikebukuro to try Tsukemen (or "Mori soba) at Taishoken. It is just a 10 mins walk from Namja town.

offspring said...

i tried this version once in ramen stadium in aquacity (2nd pic http://my.opera.com/offspring/blog/2007/10/27/photo-final-visit-to-ramen-kokugikan). did not really liked the "burnt" taste.

Anonymous said...

My Japanese friend that is crazy about ramen brought me to the same place. The ramen is fabulous. Definitely a highlight of my trip!

Matthew Johnson said...

I had this at Gogyo in Fukuoka two years ago and have been craving it ever since. Sadly, it doesn't seem to be available anywhere outside of Japan.

The "burnt" flavour is a love it/hate it kind of thing... but I love it!

Anonymous said...

I had this last week in the Kyoto branch. It was a little "meh" for me. I don't hate it but it seemed to be trying a little too hard.

Michael C said...

Just heard about this through Gary and Jun last night. I guess I will have to give it a try tomorrow.

Michael C said...

Just got back from having some of this stuff... the stuff is HOT! but very good... probably not healthy in the least bit, but sure was damn tasty!

A. L. Vincenty said...

Is this place near Hardy Barracks? There is a review on the Stars and Stripes web site, http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=140&article=51247.

I am a fan of ramen and soba dishes, and I am looking at blogging my Japanese and Okinawan food findings. There is a ramen place on the intersection of Roppongi Dori and Hiroo that has the best Tan Tan ramen that I have tried. I have a picture of ramen shop.

bma said...

Yep - that's it. Right across the street from Hardy Barracks.

nev said...

Just got back from dinner at Gyogo... I had the tonkotsu, they put some of the burnt sauce in it. Absolutely awesome!! Thanks for the recommendation. It was a little hole-in-the-wall kind of place, a bit of a walk from the station, but totally worth it. I think I have to make another trip before I leave Japan.

nev said...

A picture of the tonkotsu ramen here: http://irenenevada.multiply.com/photos/album/215

Sorry for the poor quality, I was too hungry and thus took a hurried pic and quickly devoured my noodles :)

nev said...

I saw a sign advertising "Black Ramen" at Great World City today. They're opening on 11 Feb. I wonder if it's gonna be kogashi ramen, or some weird hybrid thing like squid-ink ramen or something.