Higashi-Kitazawa: Ramen
Senrigan (Higashi-Kitazawa: Ramen)
Open 11am-2:30, 5-9:45pm daily.
Sun: Open Sundays

There is a ramen shop in Japan called Jiro (not to be confused with the famous sushi shop of a similar name). Jiro features thick, wheaty noodles in a mega-porky soup. Add to that copious amounts of garlic, top with a mountain of bean sprouts, drizzle the whole thing with pork back fat, and you have the base of a bowl of Jiro ramen. There are other factors, but essentially this is a bowl that is tough to finish, and you'll smell like it for the next twelve hours.

Jiro has spawned many Jiro-style shops. One of the best is Senrigan. The soup is intense, but drinkable. The chashu is thick-cut, but tender. The toppings are plentiful, with raw garlic, back fat, spicy crisped rice, and the standard bean sprout pile all coming into play. Don't go for anything more than the normal ramen (Y730) here. Larger sizes of noodles or bowls with more pork are on the menu, but should only be attempted by a seasoned Jiro fan.

It should be noted that at any Jiro-style shop, you will be asked "Ninniku hairimasu ka?" Basically, "You want garlic in that?" This is code for you to tell them how much of each topping you want. Many shops will get upset if you don't have an answer, so just remember to say "futsu." This will get you regular amounts of all the toppings, the best choice for a first timer.

by Brian MacDuckston
Meguro-ku, Komaba 4-6-8.
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