Everyone get excited. It’s Ebisu ramen time!
Ramen, ramen, ramen, RAMEN — everyone loves ramen. With ramen, it’s all about equal opportunity: from ramen in cups, to cheap bajillion packages for a dollar instant ramen, to lining up an hour and a half for craft ramen in NYC, there is something about a bowl of piping hot broth and squiggly noodles that makes the world a better place. Confession: I didn’t like ramen until my late adult years, but that is a story for another day.
By this time, it’s just one artist, two NYers and me left, but for the sake of consistency I am leaving the title the same. We should be full by now but Japan, for some odd reason, expands people’s stomachs. Maybe this is why there are so many small plates in Japanese cooking: to eat for hours on end. Or perhaps we are just, well you know, drunk. At any rate, as I say the keyword ramen, everyone’s eyes light up.
I lead the group out the back door of the Yokocho and what do you know, right across the street there is a ta-daaaaaa ramen place! Magic, I’m telling you. Lucky me, there are several notable ramen joints all within a one mile radius of my home. I really, really love Ebisu.
Conveniently located in front of the back door of the Yokocho is Afuri, popular among locals and tourists. Afuri is known for their yuzu infused chicken based stock that has a light finish. Yuzu is a lovely citrus common in Japanese cooking. Their bowl is easier to digest compared to say, Ippudo, known for the rich, milky, fatty both. Both are equally delicious, just different.
The one caveat of Afuri is their menu is only in Japanese, which is quite common in Japan, but since ordering is done through a vending machine it could be quite challenging (and intimidating) if one doesn’t read Japanese. I prefer the standard ramen, a bowl of hot noodles (yuzu ramen selection is the second button on the top row), Luis likes cold dipped ramen (tsuke men, the second button from the left, second row from the top). Don’t forget to get extra char siu, a nice slab of pork charred over a coal flame upon ordering. The meat is so tasty and it melts in your mouth.
We finish up the ramen and head to our last stop…
To be cont.
Afuri Ramen (阿夫利 ラーメン)
Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0013
Ebisu 1-1-7, 117 Bldg.1F
Hours Mon - Sun: 11:00 am - 5:00 am
*Sorry, no website.
Ippudo Ramen 博多 一風堂 — because everyone is obsessed with Ippudo, it seems
Shibuya, Tokyo 150-0012
Hours Mon - Sat: 11am - 4 am
Sundays 11am - 2am
*Website is only in Japanese
Miharu 瞠 — this spot has a fish based stock and extremely popular with locals
Ebisu 1-4-1 Urbanhouse 1st floor
Hours Mon - Sun: 11am - 10pm
*Again, no website but here’s the link to the Yelp equivalent in Japan
This is part four of a five part series: Pt. 1: Pubs is here, Pt. 2: Snack Bar, and Pt. 3: Yokocho
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