Tatsunoya Ramen - Tokyo, Japan
Can there be such a thing as TOO GOOD?
The answer in short: Yes.
After hearing about this place from a friend of ours (Scott Hatch), who recommended we try hunt it down in Tokyo after reading about the L.A. branch offering the peculiar addition of Tonkotsu Broth made from Pig Skulls. I was wary of the notion of creamy brains adding an extra level to the natural bone-broth's boiled for hours and hours, but curiosity got the better of us. After taking a while to find it, the taxi driver dropped us outside. There was a line. Of course. We waited around 20 minutes and were escorted to a table in the back of the restaurant after we had chosen our bowls from the machine.
10 minutes later, two big bowls of fatty Tonkotsu ramen arrived at the table.
First sip: ASTOUNDED.. both of us looked at each other and shouted "Holy shit". This was undeniably the best tasting ramen broth I had ever tasted. The Chashu was melt-in-your-mouth, the egg was perfect. You couldn't fault a single thing. Until you ate more......
From the heights of euphoria at having found potentially the greatest bowl of ramen on earth, we started hitting the half-way part of the bowl. I began to get nauseous. That feeling you get after eating too much Christmas Dinner but also a deep, deep fatty feeling of having had too much richness. We struggled to politely finish most of the bowl before leaving the restaurant complimenting the chefs (since it was delicious) and walking straight over to a bush in case I needed to "evacuate". Willy thankfully had 2 small bottles of Aquavit (Norwegian liquor) in his bag so we downed them, but literally continued walking around Shinjuku with the most nauseous feeling on earth.
The best, but also the worst bowl I ever ate.
On a side-note: We actually cancelled our flights to Fukuoka after that because the thought of eating Tonkotsu ever again was not on the horizon. We ended up going down to Okinawa and eating Sashimi instead. I must say, it was the wisest of decisions. It took almost 2 months to feel like eating Tonkotsu again. Try it if you dare, but the repercussions are real.
10/10 but also 1/10
The quest to find a decent bowl of ramen in every country on earth.