Behold, the renowned Kyushu Jyangara Ramen! The zenbu iri or "everything-in" bowl (best ¥980 you will ever spend) gives you generous pieces of kakuni (stewed pork), char siew, shredded wood ear fungus, bamboo shoots, a boiled egg, that important dollop of mentaiko (spicy cod roe) and lots of spring onions in a heavenly bowl of richly umami pork bone broth. Waaaaah! Is there anything better than this?
Look again at how rich, gleaming and seductive the broth is. It's not as oily as I heard it would be. What is sheer genius is the addition of spicy mentaiko, which when blended into the soup, brings it to another plane altogether. A very different flavour but perhaps not for everyone - e.g. hubby preferred the soup without the mentaiko.
The outlet at Harajuku is small but very welcoming and cosy. Young chefs work behind cutely decorated noren (curtains). You order at the cashier, get a plastic token and give that to the kitchen staff, who will whip up your bowl of heaven accordingly. Lots of condiments available but who needs them when the original bowl is already perfection?
It was offpeak hours when I was there (slightly past 3pm) and yet it was almost full house. But then again, the second floor was closed for renovation. Still, it's a popular joint, and I can fully understand why. This is one of the best ramen we have had so far. If you are ever in Tokyo and love tonkotsu, you have just gotta try it. They now have several outlets across the city, including Akihabara, Akasaka, Kanda, Harajuku, Nihombashi and possibly Ginza later.
KYUSHU JYANGARA RAMEN
(check website for locations)