Ramen at Juu Hachiban (手もみラーメン 十八番)

Ramen at Juu Hachiban (手もみラーメン 十八番)

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Recommended bowl: Oil & garlic goodness

Juu Hachiban shop hasn't been featured heavily in Japanese food magazines and TV shows like other elite ramen outposts, but the shop has a strong cult following — many West Tokyoites will rank it among their favorites. Garlic, pork and oil lovers, this is the bowl for you.

The soup is a clear shoyu and the noodles are slightly curly, eggy and yellow, similar to the Sapporo style (the noodles are supplied by Yamamasa Shokuhin, a well known noodle maker in Fuchu). Instead of the usual chashu and egg toppings delicately placed atop the bowl, Juu Hachiban's chef stir-fries sliced pork, negi, chives, and garlic over a hot flame and dumps them directly into the noodle soup, topping it off with some menma and black sesame seeds. The garlic punch hits hard and the piping hot oiliness of the dish brings to mind ramen's Chinese origins, but the soup also remains remarkably smooth, with a nice crisp shoyu flavor. The result is a bowl both unique and deeply comforting. The handmade gyoza are excellent.
Open until 1:30am, Juu Hachiban is one of the best late-night bowls on the Chuo Line.

8 / 10