★ 味千ラーメン (Ajisen) - Tokyo
Ajisen ramen is a tonkotsu style ramen from Kumamoto city located in Kyushu Japan. I went to their Shinjuku store in the Kabuki-cho area during my last trip and tried their standard 味千ラーメン (ajisen ramen).
The Soup - was a mild flavored Kyushu style tonkotsu soup that is covered with a thin layer of brown oil which they call ajisen oil. The brown oil is infused with deep fried scallots, a spice often used in Taiwanese cuisine. The deep fried scallots have a strong aroma that hides the tonkotsu smell, which might dissapoint some fans of tonkotsu ramen.
The Noodles - are regular thickness straight noodles cooked slightly firm.
The Toppings - are a couple slices of thin cha-shu pork, a lot of sliced kikurage mushrooms, boiled egg and sliced green onions. Instead of the standard crushed raw garlic for toppings ajisen has a special deep fried garlic powder on every table, the powder is not as potent as raw garlic and I feel doesn't pack the same punch. They claim the powder gives you the garlic flavor without the bad breath.
Overall - I am not a fan of the ajisen brown oil that they put in the soup, it just doesn't compliment the tonkotsu soup in my opinion. If you are in Japan I don't recommend Ajisen ramen, there are simply too many other options for better Kumamoto style tonkotsu ramen. If you are in LA and NY then give Ajisen a try and let me know how it tastes.