Kojimachi: Ramen
Soranoiro (Kojimachi: Ramen)
Open 11am-3:30, 6-10pm (LO; Sat, Sun 11-5). Closed first Sunday.

Ramen is often thought of as a manly food in Japan. Dirty shops with an air thick with oil fumes would have most pretty ladies heading to the local cafe for lunch instead. In recent years, a few chefs have designed not only their ramen, but their shops as well around the concept of accessibility and appeal for everyone. When Soranoiro opened it was immediately embraced by both men and women for its healthier options and its light, airy atmosphere.

The ticket machine is very easy to use; the upper row is four giant pictures. For traditionalists, go with the special chukasoba (Y990), a simple shoyu bowl that goes above and beyond with their choice of ingredients. Free-range local chicken from Kumamoto and small-batch soy sauce from Nagano are a couple of the premium bits that give this ramen a clean, refreshing taste.

But the one that really garnered attention was the special veggie soba (Y1000). The soup is a thick pottage of carrots, cabbage, onions, and other vegetables. The special version comes topped with even more veggies and a perfectly cooked egg. A very healthy-feeling bowl. It is not, however, a vegetarian bowl (some of the tare seasoning has animal products).

They also have an outlet at the Tokyo Ramen Street in Tokyo Station.

by Brian MacDuckston
Chiyoda-ku, Hirakawacho 1-3-10, Blue Bldg North 1B.
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