There is a ramen shop in Japan that will pile the sliced pork higher than anything you’ve ever seen. It’s name, fittingly enough, is Niku-ya (Butcher Shop), and according to their sign, “We’re not a ramen restaurant, we’re meat specialists.” It definitely seems like they want to emphasize that end of the business rather than the noodles.

While it does look like a ramen shop and their customers are there to order ramen, their main selling point is definitely their meat. It’s said that their pork ramen has the largest portion of roasted pork slices of any shop in Japan! Well, we had to go check that out.

Niku-ya is located in Tokyo’s Suidobashi area, just outside of JR Suidobashi Station. We went there just after 4 in the afternoon, but there was already a huge line! Why were so many people waiting?

Every year on February 9th, Niku-ya holds an event they call Super Meat Day, when the amount of pork they pile on is 60 times the normal amount. Really! Usually a bowl of ramen comes with one slice of roasted pork. On this day, you’ll get 60 at the very least. Holy crap!

The two of us got in line at 4:30, and by the time we entered the shop it was already 6:30! Two hours. It was a long journey, but we made it. We immediately bought tickets for a 650 yen bowl of ramen and took our seats at the counter. The cute waitress explained that we could have any number of pork slices from 1 to 60 and asked how many we would like.

Of course, we both ordered 60! Most of the people around us did as well, actually. On Super Meat Day, that just seems like the thing to do. Then, after about 5 minutes… IT ARRIVED! All 60 glorious slices!

What a superabundance of meat they piled into that little porcelain bowl! They weren’t arranged in any special way, just sliced and piled on as is. There was so much, I couldn’t even see the noodles. It was amazing. With that kind of impact, even the famous Ramen Futaro couldn’t compete!

The pork was sliced, but not all of the cuts had gone completely through, so we thought it would be difficult to eat, but it had been cooked so well that the tenderness was amazing. The thick noodles below tasted superb in the juices of the meat too. It was like nothing I had ever tasted!

Most of the people around us weren’t able to finish everything, but the shop anticipated that and prepared some zip-lock bags for customers to take home their leftover pork, which was really a nice touch.

By the way, 60 slices of roast pork adds up to about 1.2 to 1.4 kilograms of meat. Do you think you are up to the challenge? Unfortunately, Super Meat Day only happens once a year, but the 29th of every month is Meat Day, when they’ll give you 6 times your usual serving of meat. Niku-ya is so delicious it is definitely work the trip to this butcher shop!

Restaurant info
Name: Niku-ya
Type: Ramen shop
Address: 1-5-1 Misakicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Hours: Weekdays 11am-11pm, Weekends and holidays 11am-10pm

[ Read in Japanese ]