MOSHI MOSHI FRIENDS Members Enter Kourakuen’s Child Character Design Contest to Win 500,000 Yen

18.October.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

Kourakuen is a popular Japanese ramen chain based in the east of Japan that is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year. Their diverse ramen menu line-up elicits a hint of nostalgia amongst the people of Japan, with its number one product being the “Chuka Soba,” a Chinese-style soba noodle dish.

 

The company just recently launched its first ever mascot characters called “Mama” and “Papa.” They are a family who love to eat out at Kourakuen, with Papa having a weakness for ramen and Kourakuen’s popular Chuka Soba, and Mama having a thing for their seasonal and limited-time dishes.

In celebration of 65 years since its establishment, Kourakuen announced an international Child Character Design Contest which people from around the world are able to participate in. Participants must create a child character for Mama and Papa. The winning character will serve to promote and make Kourakuen an even more fun place, appearing on the company’s social media platforms and at events to spread the word of their ramen across the globe.

 

But that’s not all. Winners will receive ¥300,000 travel money with JTB and ¥200,000 in prize money. Many people are unaware of Kourakuen outside Japan, hence the contest, so if you’re reading this article, this is your chance to get involved and get the word out there!

 

Our MOSHI MOSHI Friends members decided to all get together and enter the contest!

Six of our amazing members came together. They are a diverse bunch, each of different nationalities and ages and having different hobbies.

 

They headed to the Dogenzaka branch of Kourakuen in Shibuya, Tokyo where they ordered food of their choice as inspiration for their character designs.

Being a ramen chain, Kourakuen of course has a long list of ramen options, but they also boast a selection of delicious side dishes too like gyoza and chahan. Our members were spoiled for choice and it took them 5-minutes or so to decide, but each of them settled on their favourite-sounding dishes.

Time to tuck in!

Chuka Soba – ¥440

Naomi is a model from the Philippines. She went and tried the “Chuka Soba,” Kourakuen’s most popular dish.

This was her first time eating at Kourakuen, and she seemed to enjoy the subtle flavours of her Chuka Soba.

Etsuna, a model from China, has recently been obsessed with going to Hakata to eat tonkotsu, so she went for the “Tonkotsu Chashu Noodles” (¥640). She was really happy that there were mustard greens in the dish which she said made it really tasty. We were looking forward to seeing what kind of character Estuna was going to illustrate as she graduated from an arts college.

Vegetable Gyoza – ¥240

“I’ll go with vegetable gyoza!” Peter decided promptly, a Canadian and vegetarian who was raised in Japan.

He was very pleased with his choice, saying: “I finally get to eat meatless gyoza after so long! There’s plenty of veg in them like yam, beefsteak plant and ginger. The skin is chewy too, it’s really good.” Kourakuen’s vegetable gyoza have no meat or onions in them, so we recommend them for people who have always wanted to try gyoza but don’t like the smell.

Sammy is a British translator for us on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON and she loves Japanese food. She loves ramen but is also health-wise, so she ordered the “Reduced Salt Chuka Soba” (¥440). “I came prepared, I’ve been practicing drawing my character since yesterday!” she explained, full of vim and vigour.

Our next member, Daniel, Chief Editor at game and entertainment website IGN JAPAN, ordered the limited-time “Sesame Miso Chashu Noodles” (¥640). He gave careful consideration to his dish and character design idea, explaining: “I want to use noodles in my drawing. I love adding egg to my ramen, and children are born from eggs, so I’m thinking I might include eggs too.”

Egg Rice Bowl – ¥320

ChiMy ordered the Negi Ramen (¥540) together with the Egg Rice Bowl. She works as both as an illustrator and DJ. She actually frequents Kourakuen after her DJ sets, so she already had in mind her order.

With their bellies full and their minds filled with inspiration from each of their dishes, it was time to get drawing.

They laid out their crayons, pencils, coloured pencils and erasers onto the table. The competition allows both digital and hand drawn submissions. MOSHI MOSHI Friends went the traditional hand drawn route.

ChiMy got stuck right in, using the pens she normally uses for her works.

Everyone was chatty just moments ago, but as soon as they put pen to paper, they went straight into serious mode. We could see them incorporating different elements of their food into their drawings, like noodles, egg, seaweed, narutomaki, rice bowls, and so on.

Each person who participates in the contest can submit as many entries as they like. Estuna seemed to be drawing both a boy and a girl.

“Does this kid [character] even have a gender to begin with?” Daniel pondered as he worked on his character.

Our members had to come up with fitting names for their child too.

 

After about an hour of working hard, our members’ adorable children were finally complete.

ChiMy’s character is called “En-chan.” She has a rice bowl for a hat and her hair is made of noodles. Her hair also has a stylish narutomaki hair clip.

Sammy named her character “Umen,” which makes use of both Papa’s noodles and Mama’s narutomaki. His cute shoes are actually eggs!

Naomi create a super adorable sibling pair, called Chad The E-Boy and VSCO-chan respectively. They have matching wavy noodle hair, as you’d expect from a brother and sister.

Estuna’s idea was a twin brother and sister called “Menyuyu-chan” and “Rakutaro” who transform when they eat noodles. It’s cool that she even added some lore to their character!

Daniel’s character is “Ramen Baby,” a creepy-cute ramen bowl who eats their own noodles, aka themselves. The diaper adds that baby touch to the character.

Peter conceived “Mugimen,” who has a Native American-like appearance and whose torso is an egg. His headpiece is wheat which is a fundamental ingredient of ramen.

Everyone was able to come up with their own unique ideas and put them on paper. It’s interesting to see how all their ideas came together and how their dishes inspired what they drew.

 

The MOSHI MOSHI Friends left feeling satisfied after their tasty food at Kourakuen and being engrossed in their work.

 

Submissions for the contest close at 23:59 (JST) on Friday October 25. Don’t worry if you’re not confident in your drawing skills as Japanese illustrator Shashamin will take your idea and add any finishing touches to your design and colouring. Anyone and everyone are encouraged to get involved.

 

*All listed prices of the menu items include tax

*Select branches may not stock select menu options listed in this article

*To see the full menu, please visit Kourakuen’s official website at https://www.kourakuen.co.jp/

 

Models: Etsuna, NaomiChiMy, Peter, Sammy, Daniel

Writer: Ellie (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

Photographer: pon

Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • MOSHI MOSHI BOX Questionnaire to 100 Foreigners: #2 “Where are you heading to next in Tokyo?”

    12.April.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Hi, everyone. I’m Shiota, the director of the MOSHI MOSHI BOX.

    This is the second entry to our already-popular series where we ask questions to 100 foreigners. We give questionnaires about Japan to foreign tourists that come into the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center.

    The 2nd question we asked people was “Where are you heading to next in Tokyo?” Let’s take a look at the answers!

     

     

    渋谷

    1st Place: Shibuya (34 Votes)
    The most popular answer was Shibuya, which got more than double that of the 2nd place rank. It’s common to see lots of foreign tourists taking photos of Shibuya’s famous Scramble Crossing. In the questionnaire answers, a lot of people were planning to go there for fashion and shopping.

     

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX アンケート

    I really love shopping. ―Karymoon, Mexico

     

    ・I’ve always wanted to try going to 109! I love fashion. ―Brigitte, France
    ・I’m off to buy clothes. If you’re going from Harajuku you can walk there [Shibuya] and stroll while window shopping. ―liu, China

     

     

    浅草 

    2nd Place: Asakusa (13 Votes)
    Asakusa is popular for its traditional townscape. There was an overwhelming number of people on their way to Sensou-ji Temple. Asakusa is a great for accessing other great sightseeing spots too like Skytree and Ueno.

     

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX Questionnaire to 100 Foreigners

    I want to see the beautiful, traditional streets. ―Anonymous, US

     

    ・I’m collecting goshuin from shrines, so I’m going to the famous temple of Asakusa. ―LEE SUU JUNG, Taiwan
    ・I like the traditional culture of Japan. I go to Asakusa every time I come to Japan. ―Anonymous, US

     

     

    melody-p-378512-unsplash (1)

    3rd Place: Ueno (12 Votes)
    Coming close to a tie with Asakusa is Ueno. Ueno is filled with lots of fun places to visit, like museums and the zoo, making it a great place to spend the day.

     

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX アンケート

    I heard that the cherry blossoms in Ueno Park are beautiful, so I’m going to go there. ―Celine, France

     

    ・I’m thinking about going to the zoo and Ueno Park. ―Kati, Australia
    ・I like pandas, so I’m going to go and see Ueno Zoo. ―Bianca, Italy

     

     

    Other Answers:

    Akihabara
    I love anime! If we’re talking anime merchandise, then it’s “Akiba,” right? ―Jackson, UK

     

    Ikebukuro
    Ikebukuro is the haven for female otaku. It’s also the best since there are so many cosplay events there. ―Anonymous, US

     

    銀座

    Ginza
    I like the stylish streets. I’m gonna go there to shop. ―Adre, Portgual

     

    築地

    Tsukiji
    I love sushi! I’m going to go and eat delicious sashimi at Tsukiji. I want to experience the unique atmosphere too.

     

    新宿

    Shinjuku
    I’m going to the big UNIQLO, museum and Hanazono Shrine found only in Shinjuku. ―Anonymous, Australia

     

    東京タワー

    Tokyo Tower
    It looks fun. It’s a famous place in Japan, isn’t it? ―Sue, US

     

     

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX アンケート

    Did you enjoy this questionnaire? Travelers have a surprisingly similar mindset to that of Japanese people when it comes to having fun in Tokyo.

    If you have any questions about anything or topics you want us to cover then please send us a message on our Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/msmsnippon/

    We’ll continue to hold more questionnaires with foreign tourists at the MOSHI MOSHI BOX, so be sure to drop by to see us if you’re in Harajuku!

     

     

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center

    o_01 copy

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX is a tourist information center located at the cross road of Takeshita Street, Meiji Street, and Harajuku Street. The staff there are experts on the Harajuku area. You can get the most up-to-date news of Harajuku from the site.

     

    Services:

    Service list

    ・free wi-fi

    ・free water

    ・free PC & charge

    ・baggage room

    ・gift shop

    ・currency exchange

    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00

    Closed: The year-end and New Year holidays

    Contact: 03-2225-6447

    TwitterInstagram

  • New Ramen Restaurant Zone Opening in KITTE Marunouchi

    04.February.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    A new ramen food zone called Ramen Gekisenku Tokyo Marunouchi is set to open in KITTE GRANCHE, a shop and restaurant area located on floor B1F of KITTE Marunouchi, on March 5, 2019.

     

    The new gourmet area will be filled by popular ramen restaurants and long-standing ramen eateries that have been picked up by the media multiple times. The Marunouchi area is connected directly to Tokyo Station making it easily accessible for ramen lovers. There will be no preparation time from opening to closing meaning customers can enjoy the restaurant at both lunch and dinnertime.

    Chuka Soba Fukumi (中華そば 福味)

    Fukumi is a famous restaurant expanded to New York in 2007 and even made it into the New York Times. The ramen broth is made with whole Shigentori chickens―a brand of chicken. And by using RO water, a type of water that removes impurities, the full delicious flavour of the chicken is brought to the palette. The bowl is made with a refreshing and full-bodied broth and a rich hot water soup. The noodles are homemade using Waka, a wheat flour made in Hokkaido that ensures good texture that slides down the throat well.

    Matsudo Tomita Menban (松戸富田麺絆)

    Tsukemen noodles are the standard eaten at this restaurant managed by restaurant owner Tomita. They are known for their pork bone and seafood broth and incredible homemade noodles. The owner himself appeared in the documentary Ramen Heads which received coverage worldwide. He has served ramen at an overseas film festival and has even been called “the absolute king of the ramen world.”

    Tokyo Style Miso Ramen Do Miso (東京スタイルみそらーめん ど・みそ)

    Do Miso specialises in miso ramen and since opening in Tokyo has gone on to serve ramen made with a sweet and full-bodied broth containing rich red miso. The miso used is an original blend of five miso varieties such as Edoama Miso and Shinshu Miso. The soup is a mix of two soups: one made with meat such as pork and chicken and a Japanese-style made with kombu, shiitake mushrooms, mackerel and skipjack tuna. The noodles were made to complement the miso – they are flat curly noodles made with tapioca.

    Shisen Tantanmen Aun (四川担担麺 阿吽)

    With its main branch based in Yushima, Aun is often called Tokyo’s number one amongst fans of tan tan noodles. This restaurant is credited with creating a boom with its broth-less tan tan noodle dishes. It is made with homemade raayu red chili oil and Sichuan pepper. There are seven spice levels to choose from that range from 0 to 6. The restaurant’s recommended level is 3. The 6th level  is open only to those who have cleared the 5th, making this restaurant popular not only amongst ramen lovers but spice-seekers too.

    Hakata Yatai Ramen Ikkousha (博多屋台ラーメン 一幸舎)

    Ikkousha has expanded to 9 countries overseas in Asia. By cooking their rice with large quantities of pork bones, the soup becomes rich and creamy which when spooned into the mouth instantly bursts with delicious flavour. This dish respects the tradition of tonkotsu ramen while evolving it. It is a street food style ramen that has been loved by the people of Hakata for years.

     

    If ever you’re in Tokyo be sure to pop on over to KITTE Marunouchi to try the ramen of many famous restaurants.

  • It’s not just Ichiran and Ippudo – there are more places around the world that serve the Japanese standard of Ramen! Today we’re introducing 6!

    08.October.2017 | FOOD

    Ramen has become a recent hit with foreigners. That’s why today we’ll be introducing places outside of Japan where you can enjoy a nice bowl of ramen. This article is dedicated to ramen fans who cannot taste Japanese ramen in Japan.

     

    Ichiran Ramen

    いちらん

    The noodles are made using special wheat flour and a unique blend. The noodle makers have a hefty amount of experience, using the ultimate method to create a splendid experience for the customers with each mouthful. After extensive research by specialists, a secret technique was devised to enhance the flavour of the tonkostu broth. The main idea was formed by using chili peppers as a base and mixing this with 30 different ingredients. The broth is left to mature day and night. Ichiran is available in America, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

     

    More information: http://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/ja/42485

     

    ■Information

    Ichiran official website: https://ichiran.com

     

     

    Japanese Soba Noodles Tsuta

    main23

    According to Michelin Guide Tokyo 2016, this is the first ramen shop in the world to receive a Michelin star. The owner Onishi Yuki uses simple and original ingredients and an original preparation method to make this much-adored ramen. The store has taken a step forward and opened its first chain at Pacific Plaza in Singapore!

     

    Find out more information here: http://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/19901

      

     

     

    Ippudo

    一風堂

    Ippudo serves up Hakata ramen, which originates from Fukuoka. Anyone can easily finish off these servings, and the restaurant is stylish and clean. The characteristic and filling tonkotsu broth, and the rich, deep flavour of the soup is a result of extensive research. There are branches in America, Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia, England and France.

     

    More information:

    http://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/45999

    http://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/7130

     

    ■Information

    Ippudo official website:http://www.ippudo.com

     

     

    Ajisen Ramen

    味千

    The special feature of this Kumamoto ramen is the brown tare sauce called senmiyu that accompanies the Kumamoto tonkotsu ramen. This adds a deep flavour to the white soup broth. Garlic, which is an essential feature of Kumamoto ramen, is a prominent flavour. There are Ajisen Ramen shops in China and Taiwan. It is  a particularly big hit in China.

     

    ■Information

    Ajisen Ramen official site:http://www.aji1000.co.jp

     

     

    Santouka

    山頭火

    This ramen originated in Asahikawa, Hokkaido. At all chains within Japan and in foreign countries, the soup is made from scratch starting from stage one. Ingredients are specially selected and prepared, producing a flavour that is satisfying despite the reduced usage of salt. The Shio-ramen is presented to represent a slim woman with rosy red tinted skin. The restaurant boasts the cloudy tonkotsu soup, which customers drink up to the very last drop. There are chains in Canada, America, Taiwan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

     

    ■Information

    Santouka

    Official website: https://www.santouka.co.jp/shop-foreigin

     

    Ramen Nagi

    狐

    This ramen is known nationwide for its rich and unique soup blend that is made up of over 20 varieties of niboshi dried sardines. The fisherman who caught the sardines explained how to prepare the iwashi extract. Many varieties of flavourings are combined. The shop boasts the irresistible spicy flavour produced by maturing the ramen broth for a few days. There are Ramen Nagi chains in Taiwan, the Philippines, Hong Kong and China.

     

    ■Information

    Ramen Nagi official website:http://www.n-nagi.com

     

     

    Hakata Choten

    スクリーンショット 2017-10-05 15.21.53 2

    Hakata Choten originated from Fukuoka and Kumamoto and eventually opened a shop in France. According to ratings on the popular rating blog (https://cecj2.com/ ) and many other sources, this is the best place for both Gyoza and ramen and holds the throne as the no.1 ramen shop. This is the first ramen shop to ever be opened in Paris, serving customers with 1.3 times the amount of thin ramen noodles as the Japanese shop. The ramen broth is prepared by boiling it for over 24 hours. This produces a strong tasting tonkotsu ramen broth. This is authentic Hakata ramen.

     

    The intense flavour of the tonkotsu broth is perfect for the authentic Hakata ramen. Customers can choose the hardness of their noodles (soft, al dente or a bit harder), and the soup flavour (mild, normal or intense) . This customer service reflects authentic Japanese service, allowing Parisians to enjoy the humble service of a Japanese shop.

     

    ■Information

    URL:http://www.manichi1.com

     

    So, how about it? Next time you’re looking to enjoy the flavours of Japan in your own country, or whether you’re somewhere else in the world, try out these places!

     

    Translator: Samantha Fernandes

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Tokyo Station’s Best Rice Bowl & Noodle Dishes as Voted by Commuters

    11.November.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Tokyo Station and surrounding facilities are currently holding the “Tokyo Station Rice Bowl vs. Noodles Grand Prix 2019” tournament from October 7 to November 24 to find out people’s favourite rice bowl and noodle dishes at the station.

     

    The past three tournaments have focused only on rice bowls, but this year sees the introduction of noodles too, with past restaurants in Kitchen Street and GRANSTA competing once again as well as new ones in ecute Tokyo and KITTE for a total of 13 participating station areas. 92 dishes are in the line-up, the biggest list to date.

     

    The current rankings for the rice bowl and noodle categories have finally been unveiled, so let’s take a look at the Top 3 of each to see which is leading the race.

     

    Category Is: Rice Bowl

    1st Place

    Ultimate Japanese Spiny Lobster Bowl – ¥2,200 (Tax Included) @ Tsukiji Sushiko (GRANSTA Marunouchi)

    Tsukiji Sushiko was the victory of last year’s grand prix. This year, they’ve whipped up a hearty seafood bowl made with a whole Japanese spiny lobster and 11 other delicious critters from the ocean.

     

    2nd Place

    Premium Wagyu & Uni Otsukimi Date – ¥2,530 (Tax Included) @ Uniya no Amagokoro (Kitchen Street)

    Served with sliced premium brand wagyu, this bowl is topped with uni sea urchin eggs and ikura salted salmon roeーa luxurious combination you won’t find anywhere else.

     

    3rd Place

    Ura Ooedo Tempura Bowl – ¥1,800 (Tax Included) @ Tenkiyo (Grand Roof)

    This is an alternate version of the restaurant’s famous Ooedo Tempura Bowl, served with delicious tempura.

     

    Category Is: Noodles

    1st Place

    MISO JIRO – ¥1,000 (Tax Included) @ Tokyo Style Miso Ramen Do Miso (KITTE GRANCHE)

    A super-filling bowl piled with pork char siu and a mountain of vegetables.

     

    2nd Place

    Lanzhou Wagyu Noodles – ¥950 (Tax Included) @ Mazilu Lanzhou Beef Noodles

    Authentic Lanzhou ramen served by the Halal-certified Mazilu Lanzhou Beef Noodles, customers can choose between nine different thicknesses for their noodles to satisfy their palate.

     

    3rd Place

    Dehydrated Hamburger Bolognese – ¥1,190 (Tax Included) @ HAMBURG WORKS

    Enjoy the full flavour of the hamburger meat made from Japanese black wagyu beef and served with pasta.

     

    Be sure to use this list as reference if you’re looking to eat while travelling through Tokyo Station!

  • The Peninsula Tokyo Hotel Now Offers Restaurant IPPUDO’s Ramen as Room Service

    29.August.2019 | FOOD

    The Peninsula Tokyo is teaming up with tonkotsu ramen specialist restaurant chain IPPUDO―which has restaurants across the world―to offer their ramen as room service at their hotel.

    The hotel and restaurant first came together in autumn last year to begin plans for their collaboration, which comes in response to many guests at the hotel asking staff where a great place to eat tonkotsu ramen is, and even some expressing their desire to dine at IPPUDO.

     

    IPPUDO is a prominent ramen chain in Japan and so is sure to please the palates of all guests.

    The ramen is boiled fresh in the kitchen and is delivered to guest rooms in a soup together with what looks like a jewellery box, but instead of being filled with rings and necklaces it’s packed full of delicious ingredients to add to your broth, including walleye pollock roe―which is a staple with tonkotsu ramen―as well as mustard greens, red pickled ginger, cloud ear mushroom, seaweed, and more. Topping the broth is boiled egg, fried garlic, sesame seeds, BBQ sauce specially prepared by the hotel’s restaurant Hei Fung Terrace, XO sauce which originates from The Peninsula Hong Kong, and more.

     

    Enjoy the ultimate ramen room service now at The Peninsula Tokyo.

  • Roppongi Hills Renovates Food Court Revealing Mouthwatering Michelin Guide Restaurants

    26.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Looking for a delicious Michelin-approved food experience? You surely cannot go wrong with heading to Roppongi Hills; a large-scale development project located in Tokyo, which is known for its nightlife and and shopping. Roppongi Hills is also home to the shopping mall Metro Hat, which is currently renovating its food court on basement floor 2. The foodcourt will have its grand opening on October 29th. 

     

    The renovation will introduce seven new restaurants to the food court. Some of these include ramen shops and Yakitori restaurants which are bringing brand new rare dishes and flavours to the table.

     

    Let’s look at our recommendations:

     

    Ginza Kagari (銀座 篝)

    Chicken Soba: ¥900 (before tax)

    Ginza Kagari is known for their notorious never-ending queues. In 2016 and 2017, it earned a place in the Michelin Guide Tokyo and even became popular overseas. One of their specilaties is their chicken soba. The broth is packed with the goodness and flavour of the entire chicken and even the bones. The flavour of the broth is exquisite and rich. The salt kaeshi sauce which is made from a mix of soy sauce, mirin and sugar goes perfectly with the soup. The salt mixture in the sauce consists of a range of natural salts which contain the natural goodness of the sea and perfectly enhance the flavours of the soup.

     

    Location: Metro Hat Hollywood Plaza Floor B2

    Opening Hours: 11:00 ー 23:00 (L.O: 22:00)
    Website: https://www.roppongihills.com/en/  (The website is scheduled to open during mid October)

     

    Yakitori Kokorikoan (焼鳥 ここりこ庵)

    Yakitori (chicken skewer): ¥200 (before tax)

    You must not miss out on Kokorikoan’s Chicken Skin Hotpot ー a dish that is rare even to Tokyo. This dish is the perfect opportunity to discover a new kind of flavour and a new way to enjoy food. This restaurant prepares their dishes using special and rare cuts of chicken and chicken that is freshly ground in the morning. The chicken is flavored using traditional flavorings such as tare sauce and salt as well as flavorings that are not so conventional in Japan such as balsamic vinegar, herb vinegar, madeira wine, brandy and much more. Each cut of meat is prepared with the most careful methods and best seasonings to fully bring out the flavours. 

     

    Location: Metro Hat/ Hollywood Plaza Floor B2
    Opening Hours: Lunch: 11:00 ー 15:30 (L.O.15:00)  Dinner: 17:00 ー 23:00 (L.O.22:00)

    Website: https://www.roppongihills.com/en/ (The website is scheduled to open during mid October) 

     

     Pintokona (ぴんとこな)

    As a cheap place to enjoy authentic sushi, Pintokona has become a very popular restaurant. Now, it is having a fresh renewal. This sushi is made by using seasonal ingredients from around Japan. From November 1 to 30, there will be an exciting new menu that includes fresh fish from Miyazaki and authentic shochu (Japanese spirit). There will also be a fair that you also should not miss out on. 

     

    Location: Metro Hat/ Hollywood Plaza Floor B2
    Opening Hours: Lunch: 11:00 ー 15:30 (L.O: 15:00) Dinner: 17:00 ー 23:00 (L.O: 22:00)

    Website: https://www.roppongihills.com/en/ (The website is scheduled to open during mid October) 

     

    AFURI(アフリ)

    Yuzu Orange and Salt Ramen: ¥1000 (before tax) 

    Popular ramen shop AFURI sells a ramen with a translucent gold-coloured soup made using the natural spring water that gushes from the foot of Mount Afuri (Mount Oyama) located in the Tanzawa Mountain Range of the Kanto Region. Carefully selected chicken bones, pot herbs, kombu (kelp) and katsuobushi (fermented and smoked fish) is boiled in the water to add to the flavour. The whole wheat flour used to make the noodles creates a wonderfully fresh, chewy texture. The chashu roast pork pieces are freshly barbecued upon each order, creating a fresh and delicious flavour. AFURI also sells vegan ramen which is particularly popular among foreigners.

     

    We have a full report on our heavenly trip to AFURI so if you are curious to find out more, please check out our this article: Introducing AFURI—Harajuku’s Michelin-Starred Ramen Restaurant

     

    Location: Metro Hat/ Hollywood Plaza Floor B2
    Opening Hours: 11:00 ー 23:00 (L.O:22:00)
    Website: https://www.roppongihills.com/shops_restaurants/restaurants/00100.html

     

    There are just so many popular shops and restaurants at Metro Hat that you will be spoilt for choice. We hope you enjoy exploring the rich culture of Roppongi. 

  • RAMEN PURISM: Osaka’s New Eatery Made in Collaboration With 2 Ramen Restaurants

    04.June.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Popular ramen restaurants Original Ramen Style Hayashi and Human Beings Everybody Noodles in Osaka have crossed chopsticks to open up the all-new restaurant RAMEN PURISM in Shinsaibashi, Osaka.

    Hayashi Ryuu Miso Ramen: ¥990

    RAMEN PURISM will be the central branch of RAMEN CUBISM which opened in Hong Kong back in January, making it an example of a reverse-import restaurant.

    Kindan no Shio: ¥890

    Jinrui Mina Shoyu: ¥890

    The Hayashi Ryuu Miso Ramen and Kindan no Shio by Original Ramen Style Hayashi and the Jinrui Mina Shoyu by Human Beings Everybody Noodles are served in large ramen bowls specially ordered from a ceramic maker in Kyoto (露古壽窯). The noodles are also prepared in-house meaning customers can enjoy freshly made noodles.

    The noodles are made from fragrant bamboo wheat flour while the mouth-watering roast pork is a mix of pork belly and shoulder which is cooked at 160°Cfor 30-minutes until the centre of the pork reaches 70°C.

     

    The glass windows in the restaurant mean that customers can watch the noodles noodles being made in front of them. Jazz music plays while you eat adding luxurious atmosphere compared to other ramen shops. It’s located just a 30-second walk from Ebisu Bridge in Souemoncho making access super easy.

  • Ippudo ramen opens on the lively and bustling Nathan Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong!

    08.May.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Japanese ramen shop Ippudo has just opened inside Eaton Hotel, Kowloon, Hong Kong. The ramen shop celebrated its grand opening on 3rd May. 

    Yokohama Kakaei Tonkotsu 80HK$/ ¥1,136

    Ippudo pork buns 28HK$/ ¥397

    The ramen served here includes Japan’s favourites; Shiromaru (salt-based), Akamaru (spicy red miso) and Ippudo Karakamen (hot and spicy). Besides the basics, there are so many other types of ramen served here, such as the Kuro (black) ramen, which shares the same standard tonkotsu broth but has a dash of garlic oil and black pepper. There’s also an Eaton Hotel-limited ramen called Yokohama Kakei Tonkotsu which is made using the tonkotsu broth infused with a chicken soup broth. Besides ramen, there is a rich variety of elegant dishes to complement your ramen. You can also get Ippudo pork buns and Ippudo gyoza (stuffed dumplings). There are also dessert treats such as the black soybean-matcha pudding dora (a black soybean and green tea pudding sandwiched between two Japanese-style pancakes).

    Eaton Hotel is just a five-minute walk from Jordan train station (Tsuen Wan line, MTR). Other popular attractions in the area within walking distance include the Ladies Market and Temple Street, which thrive during the night in the Kowloon area. This area is bustling with tourists as well as locals, who come and go to this area! On the lower ground floor which is one floor below Ippudo, there is a countless number of food and drink places which are popular with visitors every day.

    Starting with Ippudo ramen, come and show your support for delicious Japanese food in countries all over the world!

  • Ippudo releases new ramen for Niconico Chokaigi 2019 super cultural event!

    19.April.2019 | FOOD

     Ramen shop Ippudo will make its first ever appearance at Niconico Chokaigi 2019 from Saturday 27th to Sunday 28th April. This event will take place at the Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall. To celebrate, Ippudo will release a brand new ramen!

     

    Niconico Chokaigi is Japan’s largest cultural festival where you can even participate online. Their slogan emphasises the appreciation of everything, whether it be the same or different. Ippudo‘s vision strongly resonates with this slogan, as they believe in an infinite number of possibilities and strive to keep pushing the boundaries. It was from this concept that their new ramen was born! Reform and tradition, skill and passion; Ippudo combined all these base factors to create their new ramen Cho ♡ Ippudo Ramen, which perfectly rounds off the end of the Heisei period.

    Cho ♡ Ippudo Ramen (name subject to change)  ¥800 (price with tax included), limited sales!

    Noodles dressed in tonkotsu sauce, curry spices and garlic oil contrasted with fruits such as pineapple and strawberries, and finished with a touch of vibrantly-coloured vegetables such as tomatoes and broccoli. As well as a range of ingredients, this bowl also includes a range of fun textures such as fruity granola and cheese for you to mix and enjoy. The ingredients harmonise with each other for a beautiful flavour. We recommend you add black pepper for a refreshing aroma or spice for a tingly kick!

     

    On each day of the event, only 300 visitors will be given a pucchin pudding for free! This is a topping for your ramen which will send you on a brand new flavourful adventure! If you mix it with your ramen, it will become milder. The bittersweet flavour of the caramel sauce leaves a touch of nostalgia, and the pudding looks cute too! Come down to the Ippudo booth on an event day to witness the debut of a VTuber! (Virtual YouTuber). There will also be a wide range of fun events taking place. More detailed event information will be released around 22nd April.

     

    Try out a whole new type of specially made ramen and explore the huge range of events at Niconico Chokaigi 2019!

  • Gudetama & Chicken Ramen Hiyoko-chan Collaborate in Online Video

    06.April.2019 | FOOD / Uncategorized

    Hiyoko-chan clashed on his official Twitter page with Gudetama on March 24.

    The comment section was flooded with comments from people asking them to make up. A video was then posted which showed them having made up. Gudetama kindly made an egg shaped pocket for Hiyoko-chan to join him in basking instant ramen.

     

     

    The video is also an ad for the new Gudetama Chicken Ramen which comes with the following decorative faces to put on your egg with your noodles.

    Make your instant ramen even more fun and get your hands on the Gudetama Chicken Ramen!

  • IPPUDO Releases Cherry Blossom Coloured Tonkotsu Ramen at 1/2PPUDO

    03.March.2019 | FOOD

    IPPUDO released its limited-time “Spring Colours Tonkotsu Ramen” at 1/2PPUDO branches on March 1. Only 30 bowls will be served per day.

    To achieve the cherry blossom colour of the broth, IPPUDO cooks it with beetroot which has a vivid and distinct red colour. The bowl contains an assortment of vegetables including bright purple cabbage that has been pickled, rape blossoms, butter sauteed onion, and fried potato. It also has sakura shrimp―a perfect choice for the coming spring―as well as a shrimp flavoured rice cracker, basil, and a juicy roasted chicken thigh.

     

    To bring this healthy and hearty springtime bowl together, the ramen is served with medium-thick chewy noodles.

  • BAOBAO opens up at Ichijōji, Kyoto, specialising in the widely popular spicy Chinese ramen “Malatang”

    28.February.2019 | FOOD

    BAOBAO is Kyoto’s first ramen shop that specialises in “Malatang”, which is a kind of Chinese street food. On 5th February 2019, a new shop opened up in the famous ramen hotspot Ichijōji!

     

    The Malatang soup broth is made using a variety of Chinese ingredients. Sichuan pepper provides a tongue-numbing spiciness (麻), whilst chilli pepper produces its hot spiciness (辣). The soup goes perfectly with glass noodles. Malatang is a massive hit in Japan. Many major food companies and restaurants are churning out masses of Malatang-flavoured snacks and food menus. What’s the secret to Malatang’s popularity? You can enjoy this meal and still obtain lots of nutritious vegetables, the glass noodles are healthy, and the spices are also good for your body!

     

    The soups made at BAOBAO are packed with over 20 varieties of traditional Chinese medicinal herbs, blended using natural methods and boiled to make a soup. Just how you can in China, customers can tailor Malatang to their liking as the restaurant has 30 different toppings that you can choose from. There are also 5 levels of spiciness to choose from, so those who are bad with spice can also relax and enjoy a hearty meal here.

    The flavours of this Malatang ramen are the result of thorough and rigorous preparation. The chefs studied Chinese cuisine at a first-class hotel and created this menu with the goal that all customers feel their bodies satisfied and full of joy after finishing their meal.

    Besides Malatang, there is also minced pork rice, soft and tender steamed chicken prepared at a low heat, yumcha tea and other various sides. This place caters for both those who want to go all out for dinner and those who are on diets.

     

    This simple ramen restaurant is perfect for anyone ー whether you come alone or in a group, please check it out!

  • New Ramen Restaurant Zone Opening in KITTE Marunouchi

    04.February.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    A new ramen food zone called Ramen Gekisenku Tokyo Marunouchi is set to open in KITTE GRANCHE, a shop and restaurant area located on floor B1F of KITTE Marunouchi, on March 5, 2019.

     

    The new gourmet area will be filled by popular ramen restaurants and long-standing ramen eateries that have been picked up by the media multiple times. The Marunouchi area is connected directly to Tokyo Station making it easily accessible for ramen lovers. There will be no preparation time from opening to closing meaning customers can enjoy the restaurant at both lunch and dinnertime.

    Chuka Soba Fukumi (中華そば 福味)

    Fukumi is a famous restaurant expanded to New York in 2007 and even made it into the New York Times. The ramen broth is made with whole Shigentori chickens―a brand of chicken. And by using RO water, a type of water that removes impurities, the full delicious flavour of the chicken is brought to the palette. The bowl is made with a refreshing and full-bodied broth and a rich hot water soup. The noodles are homemade using Waka, a wheat flour made in Hokkaido that ensures good texture that slides down the throat well.

    Matsudo Tomita Menban (松戸富田麺絆)

    Tsukemen noodles are the standard eaten at this restaurant managed by restaurant owner Tomita. They are known for their pork bone and seafood broth and incredible homemade noodles. The owner himself appeared in the documentary Ramen Heads which received coverage worldwide. He has served ramen at an overseas film festival and has even been called “the absolute king of the ramen world.”

    Tokyo Style Miso Ramen Do Miso (東京スタイルみそらーめん ど・みそ)

    Do Miso specialises in miso ramen and since opening in Tokyo has gone on to serve ramen made with a sweet and full-bodied broth containing rich red miso. The miso used is an original blend of five miso varieties such as Edoama Miso and Shinshu Miso. The soup is a mix of two soups: one made with meat such as pork and chicken and a Japanese-style made with kombu, shiitake mushrooms, mackerel and skipjack tuna. The noodles were made to complement the miso – they are flat curly noodles made with tapioca.

    Shisen Tantanmen Aun (四川担担麺 阿吽)

    With its main branch based in Yushima, Aun is often called Tokyo’s number one amongst fans of tan tan noodles. This restaurant is credited with creating a boom with its broth-less tan tan noodle dishes. It is made with homemade raayu red chili oil and Sichuan pepper. There are seven spice levels to choose from that range from 0 to 6. The restaurant’s recommended level is 3. The 6th level  is open only to those who have cleared the 5th, making this restaurant popular not only amongst ramen lovers but spice-seekers too.

    Hakata Yatai Ramen Ikkousha (博多屋台ラーメン 一幸舎)

    Ikkousha has expanded to 9 countries overseas in Asia. By cooking their rice with large quantities of pork bones, the soup becomes rich and creamy which when spooned into the mouth instantly bursts with delicious flavour. This dish respects the tradition of tonkotsu ramen while evolving it. It is a street food style ramen that has been loved by the people of Hakata for years.

     

    If ever you’re in Tokyo be sure to pop on over to KITTE Marunouchi to try the ramen of many famous restaurants.

  • Gion’s Popular Ramen Restaurant Muraji Ramen Opening New Branch in Shijo Karasuma

    04.December.2018 | FOOD

    Muraji Ramen, a popular ramen restaurantin the Gion area of Kyoto known for its queues, has announced that it will open a new branch called Muraji Muromachi in the Shijo Karasuma area.

    The new restaurant is housed in a renovated building at the interaction of Muromachi Takoyakushi which is right next to Shijo Karasuma Station. The building itself has a strong Taisho roman quality to it and was even selected as one of 2013’s most desired-to-keep buildings of the Meirin School district for its old and traditional Japanese atmosphere. They pride themselves on their toripaitan chicken ramen.

     

    The restaurant will also open its third branch in Pontocho, a popular area in Kyoto amongst foreign tourists, on December 15, 2018.

    Muraji Ramen opened its main branch in Gion in November 2015. It is located in Gionkiridoshi which is located not too far from Shirakawa Street and lined with old Kyoto style town houses. It won’t be found on the main path but in the side streets. On a busy day the restaurant boasts over 350 customers. Their toripaitan chicken ramen is good for the heart and body and particularly popular with female customers. They also have a lemon chicken ramen dish which has even been picked up by the media and has seen its fair share of shares on Instagram.

    Muraji Muromachi offers a standing-and-eating style experience on the first floor and table seating on the second floor. They will sell limited quantities of their chicken karaage bento takeout which is hugely popular at the main Gion branch.

     

    Enjoy a luxurious atmosphere and taste at Muraji Ramen’s new branch.

  • IPPUDO Opens New Branch in Western Australia’s Capital City Perth

    19.November.2018 | FOOD

    Japanese restaurant IPPUDO held the grand opening of its new branch in Westfield Carousel in Perth, Western Australia on November 8, 2018. This marks the chain’s sixth branch in Australia and second in the city of Perth.

    Westfield Carousel is a shopping centre located along the Albany Highway in the South-East region of Perth. The complex is home to a range of shops including the famous upmarket department store David Jones, over 60 boutiques, a rooftop dining area and entertainment facilities.

    The new IPPUDO is decked out with the chain’s symbolic red and white colours. The warm-lighted lamps give a comforting atmosphere to the wooden decor and sophisticated space.

    It also has a terrace seating area that can be enjoyed for the bar or a relaxing dining experience.

    The menu includes a familiar IPPUDO line-up such as the Shiromaru Classic made with a creamy pork broth and served with thin noodles, pork belly and other treats, and the Akamaru Modern made with an original pork broth and enhanced with miso paste and garlic oil. Sides include gyoza and there are desserts, Japanese sake and wine to enjoy.

RANKING

  • DAILY
  • MONTHLY

FOLLOW US