CHUKA SOBA TOMITA RAMEN:
THE BEST RAMEN IN JAPAN THAT YOU MUST ABSOLUTELY VISIT!
Welcome to a new episode of Ramen Escapade Japan where your host, Le Captain Foodie, travels around Japan to review the best Ramen Restaurants available.
In Today’s episode, i am thrilled to announce that, after visiting the famous Michelin starred Ramen Restaurants, Tsuta and Nakiryu, i have been able to visit Chuka Soba Tomita Ramen rated the best Ramen in Japan for several years. I had Tomita in my radar for several months and i am pleased to say that I finally manage to find the time to visit this place. Needless to mention that it was worth it! In fact, I regret that it took me so long to go there…
Disclaimer: I didn’t take many pictures in the shop as i have read somewhere the Chef does not like people taking photo of the restaurant nor the staff. Taking pictures of the Ramen was fine though but that’s almost it.
TOMITA – The Best Ramen in Japan:
If you have never heard of Chuka Soba Tomita Ramen 中華蕎麦 とみ田 be my guest! This Ramen restaurant has been ranked as the number one Ramen in Japan for several years by Ramen aficionados in the well reputed Ramen Supleks Database (I have made a dedicated article on this database). With almost 80 000 Ramen restaurants listed, Ramen Supleks is the biggest Database dedicated to Ramen worldwide. It is without a doubt the place where you need to go if you are looking for the best Ramen in Japan. Ramen enthusiasts from all around the world (and especially Japanese people) rate their favourite Ramen with a scoring up to 100. Tomita has an almost perfect score of 98.425 from nearly 2000 reviews while writing this article.
OSAMU TOMITA – A man of excellence:
Osamu Tomita is the chef behind the success of Chuka Soba Tomita Ramen. In fact he is so famous that he recently starred in a movie about Ramen called Ramen Head (Read more about this movie in this article). He is the perfect example of the principle of Shokunin. the Japanese word for the way of the Artisan or Craftmanship (Think of the Sukiyabashi Jiro’s documentary). A concept of perfectionism where an individual devotes years or practice to master his craft, his being Ramen.
He opened Chuka Tomita Soba Noodles in Matsudo Chiba in 2006. In almost 10 years he conquered the World of Ramen in Japan (not an easy task!). Nowadays, people are queuing for hours to get a seat at his shop and eat what is renowned as the best Ramen in Japan if not the World.
My respect for Tomita grew even higher when i realised that not only his shop is rated number one in Japan; But also by the fact that the most recommended dish in his menu is not Ramen but Tsukemen. For us, Gaijin, the Tsukemen or Dipping Noodles, is not something super common when you think about Ramen. Even in Japan, i reckon that most of my Japanese friends or gourmet tend to recommend or order a traditional bowl of Ramen instead of Tsukemen. Well, you know the saying, you have to take risks to stand above the crowd. It seems it has paid off for Tomita.
Personally, i love Tsukemen. When i visited Tomita’s ramen shop i was ready to be blown away by what Japan has best to offer: the King of Ramen’s Tsukemen also known as the ultimate dipping noodles. Seat belt fastened, ready for takeoff!
GOD LEVEL TSUKEMEN:
Before i dig deeper into the ultimate Ramen experience, let me explain to you the Booking process. Tomita is so Famous that yes,…, the first hurdle is to go there and get a seat!
The booking process:
If you want to eat at Tomita you will need one thing first: Patience. The restaurant’s official opening time is 11 am however, you can book your seat as early as 7 am in the morning. In fact, if you plan a visit at 11 am you probably won’t be eating until later in the afternoon, if not at all.
I visited Tomita at around 8:30 in the morning to secure my seat. The store was not officially opened yet but a staff member will come and take your reservation. Everything was already booked until 14:40. The store member will ask you to place your order with the vending machine sitting in front of the Ramen shop to book your seat. He will then take your ticket, your name, your number and let you know when you need to come back (basically 10 minutes prior your booking time). For this review, i ordered a Tsukemen which is the most recommended item on the menu.
Broth: With Tsukemen, the broth is thicker than with traditional Ramen. It is made this way so the noodles will absorb as much flavours as possible when you dip them in the bowl before slurping them loudly. The quality of the broth served at Tomita was exceptional. Generous, thick, complex, creamy. A mix flavours, fish and pork amongst many other things. Hard to describe and harder to stop eating. Addictive. Clearly one of a kind!
When you finish your noodles you can ask the Chef to dilute your broth with additional stock so you can have a lighter soup to drink. Delicious as well, a perfect way to finish your meal.
Noodles: First thing to mention is that the noodles served with this Tsukemen are beautiful. It is a weird thing to say i know, but once they serve them in front of you, you understand straightaway that you are playing in the upper league. The colour, the thickness and the overall aspect of the noodle are super appealing, they are like glowing, waiting for you to eat them. Needless to mention that the noodles are made in-house, they are the pride of the shop and i understand why. Taste and texture-wise it is a blast! Dip them in the broth and you are in for a treat from heaven.
One thing to mention, if you are not at ease with chopsticks, you might struggle with the noodles. They are sliding a lot and can be hard to handle. Beginners, you have been warned!
Pork: Oh my… My biggest mistake when visiting Tomita was that i didn’t order extra slices of Chashu with my Tsukemen (Rookie mistake). The slice of Chashu served with my bowl was amazing, tender and tasteful. One of the best i ever had.
Toppings: The broth is served with many toppings including Nori, Naruto, Negi, Yuzu peels and thick slices of Menma. They are all delicious and complement the broth perfectly.
Size: The size I have ordered was Regular. You have several options when ordering your Tsukemen. The regular was more than enough for me even though i visited the shop hungry. I would recommend you to stick with the Regular unless you are a big eater.
Service: The staff work in a decontracted atmosphere with relaxing music playing in the background. I was thinking all along that it must be good to work in those conditions. I think it reflects on the staff, they were really friendly and all smiles while working. You don’t feel that you are eating in the number one Ramen restaurant in Japan which is great.
Price: Around ¥950 for the Tsukemen. When you think that you are eating at the best Ramen restaurant in Japan, a dish crafted to perfection, ¥950 is an absolute bargain.
Overall: The problem with restaurants like Tomita is that after trying his Ramen, you will never eat Ramen the same way again. They set the bar way too high. The complexity of the broth, the perfection of the noodles, the tenderness of the Chashu,… heaven on earth. My best advice is to enjoy it while you are there and then forget about this experience straight away. Otherwise, you will never want to eat at your local Ramen joint ever again. Your expectations will be too high. You will be blase, At least,… until you find the next hidden gem that the Ramen food scene in Japan has to offer. Lucky for us, i have heard there are plenty…
“Tomita is a restaurant you should add in your Bucket List of things to eat before you die. Simply the best Tsukemen nationwide and probably in the world.
Price for value: 5+/5
Chuka Soba Tomita Ramen
〒271-0092 Chiba Prefecture, Matsudo, １３３９ 高橋ビル
Opening Hours :
- Monday – Sunday* : 11:00 – 15:00