Yosuko Saikan1/3
Chuka Soba Fukumori2/3
やじ満 Yajima3/3

Best hiyashi chuka noodles in Tokyo

Where to enjoy that perennial summer favourite: cold ramen noodles

By Time Out Tokyo Editors
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When the temperature rises and Tokyo’s muggy summer is just around the corner, we start to crave one of our beloved summer dishes − hiyashi chuka, which literally means 'chilled Chinese noodles'. This refreshing ramen dish is served in a cold and light dipping sauce and topped with a myriad of ingredients (often cut into strips) such as cucumber, carrots, ham and egg. Here are some of the top restaurants in Tokyo serving hiyashi chuka, where you can slurp on a classic or try out new and modern interpretations of the dish − either one is bound to cool you down.

RECOMMENDED: Your ultimate guide to the best ramen in Tokyo

Time to chill

Yosuko Saikan

Restaurants Chinese Jinbocho

This long-established Chinese restaurant in Jinbocho is known as the birthplace of hiyashi chuka in Japan. We recommend the year-round classic Gomoku Hiyashi Soba, where the chilled soba noodles are piled high and surrounded with four toppings to emulate the silhouette of Mt Fuji.

Apparently, each sliced ingredient represents one of the four seasons: roasted pork, cucumbers, bamboo shoots and agar-agar. Which ingredient for which season, you ask? Well, your guess is as good as ours.

To create the mountain's snow-covered peak, the dish is topped with sliced egg. But that’s not all: there’s also shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, quail eggs and chicken meatballs. The dish is finished with a slightly sweet sauce, but you can adjust the flavour by adding vinegar or mustard, which is placed on every table. 

Yajima

Restaurants Chinese Toyosu

Yajima is located inside Toyosu fish market, and its cold noodle dish is based on a special sauce – the recipe of which hasn’t changed in the past 60 years. The bright yet mild flavour of the sauce makes this an appetising dish, and it's served with shredded seaweed, tender sliced pork and tamagoyaki omelette. It’s been a crowd favourite for decades. For big eaters, order a side of the handmade shumai dumplings, which go very well with the chilled noodles.

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Ryuho

Restaurants Chinese Kagurazaka

While cold ramen is typically embellished with thinly shredded egg, rule-breaking Ryuhou uses wide strips for its hiyashi chuka. The fat eggy slices don't overpower the dish because the noodles themselves are pretty thick, too – the chunkiness of it all makes for a delicious mouthful. If you're with a group and willing to share, opt for Ryuhou’s fried rice to bulk up even more: this crowd pleaser is made with thick-sliced chashu pork and comes with a side of seafood-based soup.

Chuka Soba Mitaka

Restaurants Ramen Mitaka

A popular restaurant in Mitaka, Chuka Soba Mitaka serves a simple but addictive hiyashi chuka with bamboo shoots, cucumbers and to top it off, a single slice of ham. What makes this dish special is the noodles: their ramen-like thickness have a texture that resembles soba, and they go so well with the strong shoyu-based broth. A pint of beer, a bowl of hiyashi chuka – we'd argue that comes close to the perfect summer afternoon. 

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Manpuku

Restaurants Chinese Higashi-Ginza

In business since 1929, this chuka (Chinese-style) restaurant has been a local favourite for close to a century. It also offers hiyashi chuka all year long. Manpuku's rich sesame seasoning and banbanji chicken make for a memorable bowl, and even if you finish eating the noodles first, the chicken alone goes well with beer. In summer, try the limited-edition hiyashi soba. 

Chiisha

Restaurants Chinese Ikejiri-Ohashi

The key to the popularity of this long-running Chinese cafeteria in Ikejiri-Ohashi is its delicious fried rice, but in summer, it's the Hiyashi Negi Soba that takes the crown. It comes covered with a massive number of green onions, and regulars here say they can’t survive summer without it. The light and refreshing green onions provide both textural and flavour contrast with the soft noodles and sesame broth. Simple, but it works. 

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Chuka Soba Fukumori

Restaurants Ramen Komazawa-Daigaku

Chuka Soba Fukumori's 'Spicy Niboshi Hiyashi Chuka' is perfect for sardine-based ramen lovers. Their relatively light soup extracts the robust umami flavours from the fish, and is brightened with a hint of vinegar. With plenty of toppings and spicy green onion sauce scattered on top of the thick homemade noodles, you can adjust the taste as you eat.  

Menya Shichisai Hatchobori

Restaurants Chuo

While Shichisai is famous for its freshly-made thick and rough ramen noodles, the hiyashi chuka features thin noodles instead. And it's an unconventional take on the classic cold ramen: the noodles are dressed in a tomato-based broth. The summer-only hiyashi chuka comes topped with thinly cut cucumber and daikon, a sprinkling of shiso and rare chashu pork.

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Menkoidokoro Isoji

Restaurants Ramen Yoyogi

Besides its regular tsukemen, Isoji’s homemade hiyashi chuka is something special. The noodles are topped with bits of frozen fish broth – it doesn't just keep the dish cold, it also offsets the sweetness of the sesame sauce. For toppings, expect summer vegetables such as shiso, tomatoes and baby corn.

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