★★★ 肥後のれん (Higonoren) - Tokyo
Higonoren is a Kumamoto style ramen shop that has been around Shinjuku for 25 years. This is my first time at this store and I tried their basic menu item the ひごらーめん (Higo ramen).
The Soup - is a tonkotsu (pork bone)/chicken soup simmered for more than 20 hours. The soup is creamy white in color, its taste is a rich tonkotsu broth with just a little of the tonkotsu smell. An oil infused with the aroma of fried garlic is added to the soup that adds depth to the ramen.
The Noodles - are medium thin straight noodles cooked firm.
The Toppings - are tender cha-shu pork, kikurage mushrooms, nori dried seaweed and spring onions. The cha-shu was delicious and the kikurage had a nice texture to it that matched well with the ramen.
Overall - a very good, authentic Kumamoto style ramen; In a time when most ramen shops try new things to attract younger customers, it's nice to try a ramen that just sticks with an old formula. While I enjoyed the old school taste of Higonoren, I know they will have a hard time competing with new comers like Nantsuttei or large chain stores like Ajisen. This might be the best Kumamoto style ramen in Shinjuku station.
Higonoren is on the South East side of Shinjuku station, just a 3 minute walk from the South station entrance.