Friday, August 1, 2014

Michi (Tokyo, Katsushika-ku)

つけ麺 道
つけめん みち

Tsukemen: 17 / 20

I continue my investigations of Tokyo’s best tsukemen. Being in Matsudo, I thought I should use the opportunity to try tsukemen Michi near Kameari station, the 6th most highly ranked ramen place in whole Japan on ramendb. Arriving there at 2:45 pm, I was hoping I would not have to wait. How naive I was: 8 persons where still waiting there, and I had to queue during 30 minutes - I cannot imagine how it must be on a week-end. But finally I can enter into the shop; I order the regular tsukemen (they have a special version, and a lighter version too), which comes nicely presented on a tray.

(yeah some day I'll learn how to hide my fingers' shadow on pictures...)

Broth: Wow! That’s why it is so highly rated, no doubt. So smooth… this is remarkable. Feels like floating in the mouth, a really etherical tonkotsu gyokai foam. Let's say it straight: it may be the best tonkotsu gyokai broth I ever had. After the wari soup, it became more classical, but still remarkably unctuous.

Noodles: Nothing surprising here: the kind of thick, chewy noodles that every respectable gyokai tonkotsu tsukemen place should have.

Meat: A thin slice of chashu, relatively unremakable, although it kind of makes the broth even fatter and more unctuous when you put it inside. And a meatball too; relatively flavorfull for a meatball - but, well, just a meatball.

Egg: Half a kind-of-ok egg, but not the high quality ajitama you would expect in such a place.

Toppings: A few thin menma with a strong taste. Some negi. And a little bit of spicy sauce, not sure with what you’re supposed to eat it.

What a contrasted bowl! So first, let me say that I cannot rank it among the 10 very best ramen I've eaten: the broth may be stellar, but a ramen (or tsukemen, for that matter) dish is also composed of many other ingredients - meat, egg, unusual toppings, etc., and those are not up to the level of a top-notch ramen place. However, if you love tonkotsu gyokai tsukemen, you HAVE to try it, just because that might be the best broth ever. I would be curious to compare it with Fuunji on a same day (which also has a very special and smooth broth).

More info on ramendb.

Other review: Enjoy Ramen.

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