★ 赤坂ラーメン (Akasaka-ramen) - Tokyo
Akasaka ramen started out as a food stand in the early 80's before becoming a restaurant in Roppongi in '93. I remember seeing Akasaka's owner appearing in the TV show "TV Champion" trying to sell ramen from a food stand in the US, I think that show was aired at least 10 years ago. I visited their newer store in Roppongi which is located right next to the number 5 exit from the Roppongi subway station. During this trip I ordered the 赤坂小町ラーメン (Akasaka komachi ramen).
The Soup - is a thick salt flavored tonkotsu soup, they claim that the soup uses a special soy sauce from Shoudo shima island but I didn't notice any special shoyu aroma or flavor. Overall the soup was a little on the salty side but still delicious.
The Noodles - were slightly on the thicker side, curly noodles cooked firm. You can request the noodles firmness when you order.
The Toppings - the cha-shu that was tender, flavorful and very good. The menma and fully cooked boiled egg was nothing special. The bitter kaiware daikon sprouts were a terrible match with the ramen.
Overall - An average tonkotsu ramen that didn't have much personality that sets itself apart from the wide variety of tonkotsu ramen in the Tokyo area. However the Akasaka komachi is not as oily or smelly as the standard tonkotsu and for those who have shunned tonkotsu ramen might find this place a nice alternative. Akasaka has many other types of ramen from miso to the very spicy type, all tonkotsu based.
Akasaka ramen's main store is in Akasaka (duh), with chain stores in Shibuya and Komasawa as well. Akasaka also has more stores located overseas than in Japan. Maybe someday I will try out their store in Taiwan, or China and see how it compares to the flavor in Japan.