Updated 2nd Feb 2018: This main shop is temporary closed for relocation.
There’s one really famous ramen shop located at a small alley in Ginza, Tokyo that’s been garnering lots of fans and curious gastronomers in recent years. Ginza Kagari is the name and its signature ramen, the tori paitan soba (chicken soup ramen) is really no joke! What more? It has a Bib Gourmand status awarded by Michelin. Bib Gourmand means exceptional good food at moderate prices (Wiki). My other Bib Gourmand’s adventure were at Kiji and Fukutaro (both at Osaka).
So on this faithful day 11 of our Japan trip, we arrived at 10am to make camp at Ginza Kagari’s front door. We were first of course. Tsk, it opens at 11am. However, because it was raining, we decided to take shelter at the nearby Matsuya Ginza 松屋銀座, a classy department store. We were all particularly fond of the basement level (read = food!). We went back to Ginza Kagari at 10.40am and were still first in line. Must be the rain. Hehe.
Do note that you cannot queue for others and they only accept cash. So come prepared with Yen and patience.
The front door of Ginza Kagari. It’s not opened yet. While waiting, take the menu and decide what you want.
Multi-lingual menu. Just go for the first dish in the menu.
This is the smallest restaurant I’ve dined in Japan. There are only 8 seats, all counter seats and facing the chefs and kitchen. I love this kind of intimate view. If you’re at the innermost seat and want to get out, others might need to get up so that you can pass through. Ya know, like cinema. It’s that tight. If you have claustrophobia (panicky), you might find it a bit unpleasant. But I think you will forget all about it once you dig into the food.
Wooden chopsticks, brown rice vinegar, spices, salt, pepper and toothpicks.
Grated ginger and fried shallots. Remember to add ’em to the ramen.
And before you began, request a bib! Our ramen arrived less than 10 minutes after ordering.
Tori paitan soba 鶏白湯 @ 950 yen (regular bowl 並). This is a bowl of creamy and concentrated chicken soup noodles. Definitely not the usual pork based ramen we all are accustomed to. It’s beautifully garnish with chicken breasts and seasonal vegetables. All of us ordered the same thing.
First taste of the chicken soup reminded me of Campbell soup. I’m not a fan of the soup and therefore didn’t drink much of it. On the other hand, I super love the noodles which were cooked to the highest perfection, and combining with other ingredients they worked in absolute harmony. Upon clearing the bowl (minus the soup), there was this sense of contentment in me. Wow, what an amazing meal! My mate even told the chef “Oishi! Very delicious!” with thumbs up and I couldn’t agree more. Ginza Kagari is truly in a class of its own.
Took us 20 minutes to finish our meal while other customers (Japanese) finished even quicker.
The queue while leaving Ginza Kagari at 10.30am. I was so glad to be first in line that day.
Have you tried this ramen shop? What do you think?
Tsk, there’s another Kagari nearby… at Ginza Station.
銀座 篝 Ginza Kagari
1F Ginza A Building
東京都 中央区 銀座 4-4-1 銀座Aビル 1F
Opening time: 11am-3.30pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm for weekdays, 11am-3.30pm, 5.30pm-9pm for Saturday and public holidays. Closed on Sunday.
Nearest station: Ginza