HR 3

In recent years, ramen has been making a name for itself as a respectable, in some cases almost gourmet meal. Japan’s favorite noodle dish has even reached the point where some women feel it’s an acceptable choice for a dinner date (provided you follow certain rules).

That doesn’t mean ramen has been entirely gentrified, though. There’s one noodle joint in Tokyo that’s currently offering a throwback to the machismo that used to define the dish, with a bowl of ramen that has an action movie tie-in and is seasoned with tequila.

Depending on which market you live in, actor Jason Statham’s latest goes by either its original moniker Hummingbird, the grittier Redemption, or the, well, crazier Crazy Joe. The film is set to premiers in Japan this month, with the first and daintiest of those titles. It’s getting an indirect injection of testosterone, though, from Tokyo ramen restaurant Gachi.

Gachi is located in Shinjuku’s Nichome district. Since this just happens to be the same part of town where you can find the RocketNews24 offices, we made the stroll over on our lunch break to try their Hummingbird ramen for ourselves.

BR 1

A surprising amount of thought went into choosing the ingredients, which took inspiration from the film’s setting, cast, and characters. The events of the movie take place in London’s seedy criminal underbelly, so naturally the broth is as opaquely dark as the shadowy society it represents.

HR 7

Flavor-wise, it’s a lot less intimidating than it looks, with, with mellow chicken broth tones. For a dish with such a hardcore backstory, the noodles themselves were ironically just a little on the soft side for our taste. They are nice and thick though, with plenty of surface area to make sure you get a flavorful dose of broth with every bite.

I don’t think any of us remember the last time the 46-year-old Statham appeared on screen with a full head of hair, so Gachi chose to plunk a hard-boiled egg, with “Hummingbird” written on it in Japanese, into the bowl to create an edible avatar of the leading man.

HR 5

HR 6

Statham’s character, the occasionally titular Joe/Joseph, plays a homeless ex-soldier who regularly hits the bottle so as not to hit his fellow man. As the character himself puts it, “When I’m sober, when I’m healthy and well, I hurt people. I’m lethal. I drink to weaken the machine they made.” In reference to this, Gachi adds a dash of tequila to the Hummingbird ramen.

HR 2

The alcohol is cooked off first, though, so those of you who are also highly trained pugilists should be aware that the tequila isn’t going to do anything to dull your razor-sharp combat skills.

▼ The lingering post-meal effects of ramen belly should slow you down a step, though.

HR 8

Restaurant information
Nichome Tsukemen Gachi / 二丁目つけめんGACHI
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 2-17-10, Kuroiwa Building 1st Floor
東京都新宿区新宿2-17-10 黒岩ビル 1F
Open 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Photos RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]