Hatsune has been serving tanmen from its cramped back-alley quarters on the ground floor of an old Japanese house for more than half a century. Seating might be limited – there are just six spaces at the counter – but the menu options are varied, including ramen, wontonmen and yakibuta-men. The most popular dish, however, is the tanmen (¥750), a bowl of shio (salt-based) ramen topped with cabbage, bean sprouts and carrots. All the tastes and textures hang together beautifully: the cabbage is sautéed in a wok to retain its crispiness and flavour, while the clear broth turns out to be unexpectedly packed with umami – don't be surprised if you find yourself draining the bowl once you've finished the noodles. Times may change, but there's no arguing with classic ramen like this. Find it near the south exit of Nishi-Ogikubo Station – it's worth the wait.
3-11-9 Nishiogi-Minami, Suginami-ku
|Opening hours:||Tue-Fri 11am-5pm, Sat 11am-4pm / closed Sun, Mon & hols|
|Transport:||Nishi-Ogikubo Station (Chuo line)|