Nishi-Shinjuku: Ramen
Fuunji (Nishi-Shinjuku: Ramen)
Open 11am-3, 5-9pm. Closed Sundays.

Tsukemen is everywhere in Tokyo. Expecially tonkotsu gyokai tsukemen. Pork and chicken bones are cooked on high heat for a long time to draw out as much creamy collagen as possible. Thickness is the key here. This soup is usually blended with a fishy soup made from dried Japanese fish. The result is like gravy, and the flavor is like nothing else in the world. Serve cold noodles on the side for dipping, and you have a very popular style of tsukemen.

There are many shops like this, and they tend to be universally good. One stands out though, and when you finally make it inside Fuunji, you'll see why it is considered a top spot for tsukemen in Tokyo. The line is always there, stretching out, across the street, and sometimes veering into the nearby park. The line moves fast, so jump in.

Be sure to order the tsukemen here (Y800). The ramen on the menu is good, but the tsukemen is where it's at. You'll be asked what size portion of noodles you want when you hand in your ticket. Nami gets you regular, and dai gets you a large size. Unless you are very hungry, go for the nami. Fuunji uses only chicken in their soup, something that is rarely done. Blended with a thick fish stock, and topped with fish powder, this one really clings to the noodles. The smoky, roasted taste can be enjoyed after the noodles are gone by diluting the soup with some broth, located on the counter.

by Brian MacDuckston
Shibuya-ku, Yoyogi 2-14-3.
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Venue listing from Bento.com5 Star Rating: highly recommended