Tokyo Street Food Ramen at Chuka Soba Inoue (中華そば 井上)
- Published on May 18, 2014
- Chuka Soba Inoue (中華そば 井上) serves satisfying Japanese street food ramen in Tokyo. Get more details here: migrationology.com/2014/05/chuka-soba-inoue-street-ramen-tokyo/
A bowl of Ramen, is one of the most popular things to eat in Japan. It's not only soothing and satisfying, but it's also filling, extremely tasty, and often times one of the most affordable meals in Japan. In Tokyo, you'll find a restaurant that serves ramen at nearly every corner - in fact you can't even walk more than a few meters without bumping into another ramen restaurant. I ate a number of different types of ramen while I was in Tokyo, but the one that stood out to me the most, was the long-standing street food stall just outside of the Tsukiji market, known as Chuka Soba Inoue (中華そば 井上).
Chuka Soba Inoue (中華そば 井上) has been around for a long time, and I think it's safe to say that they have served thousands and thousands of bowls of delicious ramen to hungry passerby's. The restaurant is located on the side of the sidewalk, where there's a continual flow of pedestrian traffic all day long - the position is great. Starting from early in the morning Chuka Soba Inoue (中華そば 井上) has a line of people waiting to be served, but luckily it usually goes very fast as people slurp down their bowls of ramen as fast as possible and continue on.
Street food in Japan it's not actually very common - much of the food is served from restaurants - so Chuka Soba Inoue (中華そば 井上) was one of the few street food restaurants that I ate at while I was in Tokyo. There are many different types of Japanese ramen; Some types have buttery and creamy broth, but at Chuka Soba Inoue (中華そば 井上) they serve what's known as shoyu ramen, which is the clear broth, seasoned with a hint of soy sauce. For myself, this is one of my favorite versions of ramen, mainly because it doesn't feel too greasy or heavy, but it just goes down smoothly and the flavors are just so clean.
So anyway, I had already walked past Chuka Soba Inoue (中華そば 井上) one time before eating there, and I knew it was a place I had to try. The best thing is, you don't need to choose what to eat, they only serve one thing, the shoyu ramen. After you pay, it just takes a minute or two before the ramen master dishes out your bowl, which is always served piping hot. There is no seating, but they just have a couple of standing tables, where you can rest your bowl of ramen, season it appropriately, and get straight to digging in. For myself, it's the raw minced garlic that really makes a bowl of Japanese ramen incredible. Without raw garlic I wouldn't like it nearly as much: the garlic elevates it to new levels. I made sure to add a generous supply of raw garlic to my bowl of ramen, and that made all the difference.
The ramen noodles came topped with a few slices of pork, some pickled bamboo shoots, and a handful of sliced leeks and green onions. Like I mentioned before, the broth was clear and smooth and not too oily, which is something I really liked. Again, season with raw garlic, a hint of black pepper and chili, it was perfect. When you visit Tokyo, you have to have a bowl of ramen at Chuka Soba Inoue (中華そば 井上). It might not be the absolute best tasting ramen in Tokyo, but the Japanese street food atmosphere on the outskirts of Tsukiji, combined with a piping hot bowl of classic tasting ramen, is a wonderful experience. It was also winter when I went, and quite cold outside, so nothing satisfying like a hot bowl of soup.
Open hours: 5 am -- 1:30 pm (closed Sundays)
Address: 4-9-16 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Price: 650 JPY ($6.40)
More details here: migrationology.com/2014/05/chuka-soba-inoue-street-ramen-tokyo/
Tokyo food guide: migrationology.com/2014/03/tokyo-travel-guide-for-food-lovers/
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Bangkok 101 Guide: migrationology.com/ebook-101-things-to-do-in-bangkok/
Eating Thai Food Guide: www.eatingthaifood.com/eating-thai-food-guide/
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