★★ たけちゃん (Take-chan) - Tokyo
Take-chan niboshi ramen (たけちゃんにぼしラーメン) is a long time ramen shop near Yoyogi station in Tokyo. Take-chan started out as a regular food stand near the train station, but has long since established a store front in the same area. On my first trip here I ordered their popular dish: スペシャル らーめん (Special ramen).
The soup - is a very strong dry dried seafood based Japanese style soup that is carefully blended with chicken or pork broth to give it a richer flavor. The soup is then topped off with a few drops of fried shrimp oil that really increases the seafood aroma of this soup.
The Noodles - are medium thickness straight noodles and cooked quite firm. The noodles have just the right amount of water content that when served it abosrbs just the right amount of soup and is a great match with the Japanese style soup.
The Toppings - are cha-shu pork, a small slice of nori dried seaweed, naruto fish cake, menma bamboo shoots and a flavored boiled egg. The cha-shu is very soft but a little on the salty side, the seaweed is almost unnecessary since the whole dish is strong with seafood aroma already. The menma was crunchy but didn't have much flavor. The aji-tama (boiled egg) was half cooked inside and very flavorful.
Overall - Take-chan has a lot of wonderful aromas and flavors but doesn't achieve an essential balance. The soup is a very rich seafood soup that goes great with the noodles, but the toppings are either too salty or has no flavors. Also I wish that there were more soup in comparison to the amount of noodles you get. Still a delicious ramen place and worth checking out if you want to try a veteran Japanese style soup ramen place.