Ramen at Hayashimaru (麺屋はやしまる)

Ramen at Hayashimaru (麺屋はやしまる)

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Recommended bowl: Crazy good wontonmen

Hidden down a tiny side street in the colorful neighborhood of Koenji, Hayashimaru serves some of the best wontonmen around. With its rustic wooden exterior, glass-plated doors and long wrap-around counter, the shop has a homey, old school Tokyo atmosphere. Customers range from school kids to salarymen to housewives and grandparents.

Hayashimaru’s wontons are exquisitely packaged, juicy and flavorful. But what really elevates this shop to an elite level is its take on the ramen fundamentals: soup and noodles. Made with a light flour, the house-made noodles are straight and medium-thick, served slightly on the chewy side. Offering up a niboshi-based shoyu and shio, this bowl is sweet and simple. Nothing extravagant, but deeply comforting. Hayashimaru's master apprenticed at Tantantei, the wontonmen institution in Hamadayama that has spawned multiple Tokyo wonton masters.

8 / 10