Chicken Ramen? Really? Well I was back in Tokyo and this is where I was introduced to Cheese Ramen and Burnt Miso Ramen so why not, let’s give Chicken Ramen a try. My co-worker Nick had eaten here before and to this day, he still talks about Kagari and to him, his all time favorite Ramen, the Chicken Ramen. All he said was “try it but be prepared to wait”. So with that in mind, Brad (my Japanese Ramen partner-in-crime) and I went to the immense shopping district of Ginza to find our prize.
Kagari is located on a side street next to the giant Apple Store, all you have to do is look for the line-up. Tucked into an alleyway is a line of people waiting to get into this tiny “blink-and-you-will-miss-it” restaurant with no singage other that a small illuminated SOBA sign. We were the 20th people in line, even at 9:15pm so we discussed games and comics and laughed until about 20 minutes later when a friendly cook came by to take our orders. We both ordered the Tori Paitan Soba Ramen with the soft-boiled Seasoned Egg, in other words, the infamous Chicken Ramen. The menu says: “Concentrated Chicken Soup noodles. The soup is creamy with rich taste. Topping with Chicken Breast meat and seasonal vegetables”. Sounds very interesting.
25 minutes later when we finally got into the restaurant, we were greeted with six seats in a U-shape with an open kitchen in the back, awesome! No wonder there was a line-up! Within a minute of sitting, we had our bowls presented to us and… wow. Not only was this one of the most unique looking bowls but that smell son! That smell!!! How heavenly, in all my bowls of Ramen I had not smelled something as tantalizing as this. First off the look: a pale, creamy broth filled with homemade noodles, thinly sliced, absolutely fresh chicken breast, flavorful bamboo and crisp broccoli. The smell: like what you think chicken soup should smell like in your imagination, robust & mouth-watering. Finally, the taste: rich, soothing, complex yet unrefined. This was truly an amazing bowl of flavorful soup, I did not want it to end! It was like drinking velvet it was so good.
Brad and I hardly said a word while we dined on this meal, other than the odd grunt of bliss from this absolutely stunning bowl of Ramen. Within 20 minutes we were done, satisfied and content with plastered smiles on our faces. This was a fantastic meal. I must thank Nick for recommending Kagari and this delightful Tori Paitan Soba “Chicken” Ramen, it’s one of the most original and flavorful bowls of ramen I’ve had in my life. Historically, Chicken Ramen actually was actually a popular thing before Pork Tonkotsu set the Ramen world on fire, now it’s harder to find but thanks to amazing bowls like this, Chicken Ramen is making a comeback in a big, big way! I will always remember this!