★★ 黒兵衛 (Kurobei) - Tokyo
Kurobei is located in Roppongi, right near the exit from the subway Roppongi station. Kurobei is a Tokyo style shoyu ramen that is really quite average... until you try their cha-shu. I ordered the 黒兵衛らーめん スペシャル (Kurobei Ramen Special).
The Soup - is black! Well, very, very dark colored at least. Guess this is where they got the name Kurobei (Kuro=black). The soup is actually quite light despite its deep color. I tasted some fish based flavors in the soup, but I wasn't able to focus much on the soup unfortunately because I was busy with something else!
The Noodles - are medium-thick straight type noodles, very firm and chewy.
The Toppings - this is where all my attention was going to... I was making sure that my cha-shu weren't getting burnt! Before the ramen even arrived, they bring you a little hibachi with burning red coals and a plate of toppings filled with cha-shu pork, green onions, peppers and a little piece of mochi. You're suppose to roast them right away so by the time the ramen arrives the toppings are cooked just right. Get the cha-shu slightly burnt, with the fat dripping onto the coals, and enjoy it with bites of ramen in between. Needless to say the cha-shu was wonderful, but I couldn't really focus on eating the ramen.
Overall - Kurobei's ramen is kind of like a gimmick. I enjoyed the experience of cooking the toppings with a hibachi, but the ramen itself wasn't all that special. I might need to return just to try the regular ramen. But then what would be the point of coming here again if I didn't get the hibachi?