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Friday, February 28, 2014

ROPPONGI: Ichiran Ramen... tiny private booths for the lonely diner~

1st time ever in my life to have ramen on the 2nd floor of a building... wow... I've passed by this spot on many occasions but never bothered looking up.  My friend posted a Facebook update with Ichiran Ramen lunch pic and commented "delicious" so had to give it a try~

All items pictured on the push button ticket vending machine.

Seems like the seasoned egg is ranked #1 in surveys.

Its like a love hotel... the tiny booth seats in lite up in blue are open to sit in... when a customer occupies a seat the light goes dark.  Neat...

A full house! How did everyone know there was a ramen spot here~

Peeked thru the green curtain to see what was going on inside.

English and Japanese menu's to create your perfect ramen~.

Brought out my Sony AS10 ActionCam... 170 degree's for ya!

Free hot tea

Menu on the chopstick sleeve.

The noodles were great... thin but very chewy... not like a al'dente chewy but more like a lasagna chewy.  I had quite a few drinks at Watami before heading here so don't quite recall how tasty the tonkotsu soup was.

I usually prefer sitting shoulder to shoulder with strangers over tiny booths but if you like your privacy and enjoy taking pics... videos... whatever then its a great spot for a foodie.  For 790yen and customizable ramen I will probably return.  Would have to say this is on even par with Ippudo only a block away.  Ooohh this place is open til 6am.

Restaurant: Ichiran Ramen Roppongi Branch
Restaurant J: 一蘭 六本木大江戸線駅上店
Address J: 東京都港区六本木4-11-11 六本木GMビル 2F
Address E: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Roppongi 4-11-11

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一蘭, 六本木, 大江戸線駅上店, いちらん, ラーメン, Japanese, Japan, noodles, tonkotsu, miso, shoyu, tsukemen, foodie, lunch, dinner, beer, ramen,

SHINJUKU: WATAMI Izakaya... this franchise spot is really tasty! MEGA Hi-Balls!!

My Watami Izakaya coupons expire on the 28th and had no choice but to goooo... This Watami faces Kabukicho and probably my least favorite part of Tokyo.

The menu is so vast and very well balanced. Click Here!

Soooo many different variety of drinks.

When you sit down these TWO (!) Otoshi dishes arrive... Izakaya's will always serve these and charge you a fixed fee (table charge?) of around 300-400yen.  For Watami its 400yen.

Arrived at a very early 5:30pm and had a counter seat.  There are table seating and tatami rooms in the main dining area.

Draft beer or Large bottled beer for the same price... I'll go bottle every time.  Push button system with a quick friendly response time.

Specials direct from Tsukiji fish market.

Of course I can never resist Bonjiri (chicken butt)... crispy on the outside and tender on the inside!  A must.

Sweet Manta Ray with mayo... Its a bit freaky the first time like eating rabbit or horse... but once you get over that image of friendly animals its not so bad.  Texture is like a soft beef jerky.

This gyoza was awesome... wrapped in thick chewy dough and the meat inside had the perfect consistency with a nice dose of garlic.  A must!

Of course who doesn't crave a bit of beef.  Went with the raw yukke... seasoned in a sweet sauce and I think some sesame seed oil.  

Next up Whiskey Hi-Balls... for 100yen more and double the volume you can upgrade to a MEGA-Hi-Ball. All the way~

Really really wanted to give this fired salmon roll and negi-toro tuna roll.  For sure next time.

This is a fun order... they will blow torch this fish at the table.

Waitresses here will always kneel down to your eye level to take the order... nobody towers over you here in Japan. A mix of Salarymen but this night there were sooooo many college students and most were hammered.  Think they went for the all you can drink course~

And when you are done... just take the number on the table to the cashier.

I've been to all the other competitor franchise izakaya's (Wara Wara, Doma Doma) but this has got to be the best quality food of all the restaurants.  I've met the former CEO/Chairman Miki Watanabe during my hedge fund days and he always seemed to have a great passion to deliver quality goods. Menu is all pictured so very foreigner friendly... a Chinese waitress was helping a couple from China sitting next to me.  If you ever spot a Watami give it a try.

Leave you with a Mercedes C63 AMG Spotting~

Restaurant: Watami Izakaya - East Exit Branch
Restaurant J:  和民 新宿東口靖国通り店

Address J: 東京都新宿区新宿3-20-5 新宿ニューサンパーク 2F
Address E: Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-20-5, Shinjuku New Sun Park 2F

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和民, 新宿東口靖国通り店, わたみ, 居酒屋, 魚介料理, 海鮮料理, ダイニングバー, 新宿, Japan, Japanese, sushi, yakitori, yakiniku, izakaya, nomihoudai, beer, sake, foodie, tokyobelly,