Wednesday, January 10, 2007

★★★★ くじら軒 (Kujira-ken) - Tokyo

Kujira ken is a famous ramen chain from Yokohama that specializes in old school 支那そば (shina-soba) or Chinese style noodles. I visited their store in Shinjuku station which is located on the 7th floor of the LUMINE EST department store. During my visit I tried their basic 支那そば with flavored boiled egg.

The Soup - was a very light yet complex and interesting soup that is a blend of three different broths. First it starts out with a dried bonito/sardine soup, which is then blended with a pork bone/chicken soup and finalized with a vegetable/fruit broth. The seafood flavor slightly dominates over the others but you can still notice the trace sweet flavors from the vegetable and fruits. This is a soup that I will want to try again and again to figure out.

The noodles - were very thin, straight noodles cooked very firm. A very good match with the complex soup.

The Toppings - played a more supportive role. There were a slice of cha-shu pork, naruto fish cake, nori dried seaweed and some boiled green vegetables. The cha-shu pork was lightly seasoned, very tender and delicious. The boiled egg was flavored and slightly sweet.

Overall - I highly recommend this place to everyone. It is nice to have one of the best shina-soba chains in Shinjuku since a lot of ramen stores in the area are the heavier, oily variety. The soup is light and flavorful, a nice alternative to those who aren't a fan of the other oily ramen of Japan.

The store in Shinjuku is in the LUMINE EST department store located to the East side of Shinjuku station. The Kujira-ken store is right next to the elevators on the 7th floor.


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