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Among Numerous Ramen Restaurants in Tokyo, Which Offers Ramen Dishes That Will Please Our Palate Best? Ozeki Chinese Soba (Ozeki Chuka Soba) Definitely Comes Thoroughly Recommended!

Hi, all! I’m Ogasawara, an engineer of “goodlucktripjapan”.
If I were you who are a foreign visitor, I would have ramen for lunch during my stay in Tokyo (smile)! I have earned a living in Tokyo for more than 20 years since I left Ehime Prefecture when I was 19 years old. As for food, I do not think Tokyo offers much finer cuisine than my hometown does, but the ramen featured by Tokyo is really unequalled! It is too delicious for words!

If Only One of the Restaurants May Be Chosen for Enjoying Ramen Dishes, Ozeki Chinese Soba is the Pick

If I were asked, “if only one of the ramen restaurants in Tokyo may be chosen for enjoying ramen dishes, which is the best”, I would answer instantly, “Ozeki Chinese Soba is unquestionably the choice!”

Name in Japanese: おおぜき中華そば店

Ozeki Chinese Soba (Ozeki Chuka Soba)
Ozeki Chinese Soba (Ozeki Chuka Soba)

Three reasons for the recommendation:

  • Peerless taste! (Personally)
  • Convenient location! (Within a 5-minute walk from Ebisu Station)
  • Peerless taste! ( I seem to repeat myself... )

Access

Leave the Ebisu Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line from West Exit, cross the street (a KFC is across the street), walk along Komazawa Street (Komazawa-dori) for about 2 minutes, and walk into the alley on your right (the sight of a mobile phone shop means that you should make a turn), and get to the restaurant within about 1 minute.

Exterior
Exterior

It is highly probable that you have to line up in front of the restaurant at lunchtimes (11:30-13:00); while after 14:00, you need not wait outside! If you are to have supper at it, you’d better get to it before 17:00 as there normally is a perpetual line after 20:30.

Inconspicuous restaurant
Inconspicuous restaurant

Maybe, this is the 50th times that I have been here. I arrive here at 14:30 and as expected, there is no line.♪

Menu

The restaurant’s interior seems very ordinary and not different from other ramen restaurants. There are only 10 seats at bar tables, so if you visit here with your friend, you two might have to sit shoulder by shoulder. Dishes are ordered with a ticket machine.

Interior
Interior

Unlike other popular ramen restaurants, Ozeki Chinese Soba has many dishes on its menu. It offers four types of ramen, with each type including four options. The photo below is clear at a glance.

Four Types of Ramen Shown in Four Sections

  1. The first section covers pink buttons denoting shoyu ramen.
  2. The second section covers orange buttons denoting niboshi (dried sardine) ramen.
  3. The third section covers green buttons denoting chicken broth (sayu) ramen.
  4. The fourth section covers black buttons denoting tsukemen (dipping ramen).

Each section has four sub-stypes; from left to right, they include the following: standard flavor, 830 yen; marinated egg (ajitama), 930 yen; wonton, 1030 yen; and char siu (yakibuta), 1,030 yen.

A ticket machine
A ticket machine

Abundant Toppings and Side Dishes

Abundant toppings and side dishes are another feature of Ozeki Chinese Soba. The fifth and sixth sections are as follows:

  • Additional nori (seaweeds), menma (marinated bamboo shoots) or scallions, 100 yen
  • Additional marinated egg, 100 yen
  • Additional wonton, 200 yen
  • Additional char siu, 200 yen
  • Additional chili sauce (spicy tare), 50 yen
  • Oyakodon, 270 yen
  • Char siu rice (butadon), 270 yen
  • Egg on rice (tamago kake gohan), 170 yen
  • Cooked rice (gohan), 120 yen

You can order a large bowl of ramen by paying an extra 100 yen, or order snapper-flavored tsukemen priced at 900 yen with the button beside that (black button) for tsukemen.

Dishes in Limited Supply and Ebisu Beer

On the right of the ticket machine’s screen, there are 3 buttons for three dishes in limited supply: “限定①”, “限定②” and “限定③”, the serving of which is dependent on the restaurant operator’s mood. Some customers are said to be lucky to enjoy ramen dishes prepared with premium pine mushroom (matsutake) as an ingredient!

Dishes in limited supply
Dishes in limited supply

Now that I’m in Ebisu, famous Ebisu beer is surely to be ordered. But a small cup (300 yen, the rightmost button) is enough for lunch!

Beer on menu
Beer on menu

Ozeki’s Signature Ramen: Niboshi Ramen

Regular customers, of course, are delighted at so many options; however, new customers might hesitate. Here niboshi ramen, the signature dish of Ozeki, never disappoints customers. I order niboshi ramen with char siu (1030 yen) plus char siu rice (270 yen).

Generally speaking, for those engaging in the ramen trade in Japan, making of niboshi ramen requires considerable culinary skills as over 10 types of dried fishes, for example, geruo, hirako, shirokuchi and ibuki, are cooked on a low heat constantly to make the broth, thus imparting their goodness and flavor to the dish!

Niboshi ramen with char siu
Niboshi ramen with char siu

The noodles are medium-thin noodles by Daiei Food. They, also used by many other popular ramen restaurants, are chewy and easily coated with palatable broth.

medium thin noodles
medium thin noodles

On the top of the noodles are three pieces of char siu chicken and char siu pork each (a common niboshi dish is topped with one piece of char siu chicken and char siu pork each).
The thick slices of char siu chicken are especially nice: they are very chewy and a good match for the broth!

Char siu chicken
Char siu chicken

Char siu rice is also a must-eat. It is priced at only 270 yen, while char siu and nori fully cover the rice! (smile)

Char siu rice (270 yen)
Char siu rice (270 yen)

All slices of char siu are thick ones with high cost performance! But only limited amount of char siu is served each day, so it might have sold out if you fail to arrive at the restaurant in its peak period.

All slices of char siu are thick ones
All slices of char siu are thick ones

The broth is so savory that I drink it up again, although I have visited here for around 50 times!
In Japan, restaurant operators are always glad that there are no leftovers in customers’ bowls, so if you like the taste, just eat the dish up!

Drinking the broth up
Drinking the broth up

Besides, if you are not used to niboshi ramen, tsukemen is recommended. It’s also a dish you must savor!

tsukemen (850 yen)
tsukemen (850 yen)

On exiting the restaurant, you can see Ebisu Shrine to the right. Surprisingly, there is such an ancient building near the station of bustling Ebisu. This might be a feature of Japan, I think. (Smile)
Why not pay a visit to it!

Ebisu Shrine
Ebisu Shrine

Basic information on Ozeki Chinese Soba

OPEN
Name in Japanese
おおぜき中華そば 恵比寿店
Address
1F, Koguma Building, 1-9-4, Ebisu-nishi, Shibuya, Tokyo[MAP]
Phone
03-3780-3116
Opening hours
7:00-9:00 / 11:00-22:00
Closed
Sundays, national holidays
Access
About 4-minute walk from West Exit of Ebisu Station on JR’s Yamanote Line