"Burned Ramen" from Gogyo, Tokyo
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.