★ 蔵太鼓 (Kura-daiko) - Tokyo
Kura-daiko is a Kitakata style ramen store located in Shinjuku near the train station's southern exit. I came here during lunch time on a weekday and there was a short line formed on the outside the store. I ordered their basic らーめん (ramen).
The Soup - is a chicken and pork based, soy sauce flavored clear soup. The seasoning is quite heavy, couldn't taste much of the flavor.
The Noodles - are slightly thicker curly noodles. Very surpsrising since Kitakata ramen is famous for its flat, curly noodles. While the ramen noodles here are cooked firm, the overall texture of the ramen is only slightly springier than any other usual ramen.
The Toppings - are cha-shu pork, menma bamboo and slices of spring onions. The cha-shu are thinly sliced, simply seasoned and tender. The bamboo is on the soft side and sweet.
Overall - I don't recommend you visit this place, unless you are in the area during lunch and have to chose between this place and the McDonalds next door. Kura-Daiko share the same flaws of a lot of other chain stores where they hide the thin flavor of the ramen with too much salt. The noodles, which are supposed to be be the specialty of Kitakata ramen, are nothing special either.