Located behind Shinjuku's Takashimaya department store, this hugely popular tsukemen restaurant has hungry customers lining up an hour before the opening time, especially on weekends. The ebi (shrimp) tsukemen is the hero here – unlike regular ramen, this is eaten by dipping thick, chewy noodles into a hot, dense soup made with a heavy helping of shrimp. There are a few variations on the theme, including ebi miso tsukemen and the more daring ebi tomato tsukemen.
Tsukemen means ‘dipping noodles’ in Japanese. The noodles and broth of this ramen are served in separate bowls and you simply dip the former into the latter and happily slurp away. It was invented in Tokyo back in the early ’60s by chef Kazuo Yamagishi; other tsukemen restaurants soon sprung up and the variety grew. Today, you can also find dipping udon and soba.
Tsukemen noodles tend to be on the thicker side while the broth is a lot more concentrated in flavour and not as diluted as the typical ramen broth. Some restaurants will even offer hot water to turn your dipping broth into a soup once you’ve finished your noodles. You can usually choose to have the noodles hot or cold, making it an ideal year-round treat.
RECOMMENDED: The 10 things you must eat in Tokyo