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Tokyo Ramen Show 2018 Week 1 - Sea Urchin and Lobster Ramen

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The Tokyo Ramen Show is back in 2018 from October 26th to November 5th with 36 different ramen stores and all kinds of crazy and interesting ramen styles from all over Japan. I went and tried 4 different ramen styles that I have never tried before, things like lobster miso ramen and sea urchin soba.

The Tokyo Ramen Show has set up its tents in the Komazawa Olympic Park (駒沢オリンピック公園). For two weeks, a total of 36 ramen stores from all over Japan will show off their signature ramen. Some opt for trying some completely new and crazy soup, almost using the ramen festival guests as test guinea pigs. And you can they enjoy it!
The ramen festival itself is split into two weeks, with each week offering 18 different ramen stores to choose from.

You can find an overview over all the stores here:
► http://www.ramenshow.com/ramen.html

I went two times in the first week and had 4 different types of ramen (don’t worry, not all alone!) which I would like to briefly describe for you:

Unisoba ( うにそば) – Store 3
A creamy white chicken soup called toripaitan which has uni mixed into it. Uni is a well known delicacy in Japan and better known as sea urchin roe or sea urchin eggs in the English speaking world. Uni is a controversial food, taste-wise, as a lot of people don’t like the bitter aftertaste. This mostly stems from people only trying rather cheap and not super fresh uni. Fresh and high quality sea urchin roe is rather sweet in taste and has a deep savory umami flavor. The soup itself is made from chicken bones, similar to how a tonkotsu broth is made from pork bones.

Rich Horsehair Crab Miso Ramen (札幌濃厚毛蟹味噌らーめん) – Store 8
Horsehair crab, also called kegani, is a very popular type of crab in the Japanese cuisine. It is especially used on Hokkaido, due to its prevalence in the surrounding cold waters. It has a dense and sweet taste and really offers itself to be mixed into the popular Sapporo miso. The noodles were the typical golden Sapporo-style, curly with a satisfying bite to them.

Lobster Miso Ramen (伊勢海老) – Store 14
The lobster used in this ramen is also called Japanese spiny lobster or ise-ebi (伊勢海老). Although spiny lobster does not sound too appetizing, it definitely is! The lobster is boiled in the rich soup for hours to extract all of its flavor and some extract seems to be mixed into the miso paste as well. You get a big dollop of miso on top of your ramen bowl, which you then have to mix into the soup by yourself. This is usually done for you by the ramen chef. This gives you some control over how strong you like your flavor, depending on how much you mix it into the soup.
This is a Tokyo Ramen Show exclusive ramen bowl!

Spicy Aged Miso Ramen (旨辛熟成味噌らーめん) – Store 18
The absolute star of week 1 of the Tokyo Ramen Show 2018. This store had the longest lines throughout both days. As with all stores, you could get additional toppings for cash. But this store didn’t put them on top of the ramen for you. Rather, you got a small package with all the goodies to dress the ramen yourself! It came with marinated and spiced up white parts of green onion, thick slices of chashu (boiled pork belly), fresh green onion, menma (bamboo shoots), as well as some fungus. In addition, you received some pieces of young Hokkaido potato, which were boiled and buttered up. The spicy aged miso soup itself was perfectly balanced and encapsulated everything that is awesome about Sapporo miso ramen. Rich and full of flavor, there is really no stopping yourself until the bowl is empty. The chashu was out of this world and nicely charred after boiling, so you got a nice charred flavor in addition to the juicy fatty goodness.

Overall, I absolutely recommend everyone to go to this festival if you have the chance. It is still ongoing until November 5th and week 2 has some more stunners. If you ask me, keep an eye open for store 5, 14 and 18.

Location of the festival:
► https://goo.gl/maps/SNcQdtz4wLT2

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