Ramen’s flavor is all in the broth, and at this Nakano restaurant it’s all broth in your cup.

Even though the “men” part of the word ramen means “noodles,” you’re not really tasting the noodles when you’re eating ramen. Sure, chefs may pride themselves on the consistency and texture of their ramen noodles, but the flavor comes almost entirely from the broth.

So if you’re a ramen fan who’s been avoiding eat-in restaurant dining since the pandemic started, what your taste buds are really missing is the broth, so that’s exactly what one Tokyo ramen restaurant is offering as takeout.

Popular ramen chain Tenka Ippin’s branch in the Nakano neighborhood of Tokyo has recently begun offering what it calls “Cup de Kotteri,” Tenka Ippin’s signature kotteri (heavy and flavorful) broth in a takeout cup. No noodles, just broth and green onion.


▼ Tenka Ippin’s in-restaurant ramen

It’s actually an ingenious idea. For the most part, restaurants in Japan were quick to start offering takeout meals once the pandemic hit. The transition has been easier for some types of cuisine than others, though, and takeout ramen is a particularly tricky challenge.

Putting everything in a single container means the noodles are going to get soggy, but using separate containers for the broth and noodles is a bulky arrangement that’s hard to haul home in a country where public transportation and long walks are the most common ways of getting around. With Cup de Kotteri, you can get the captivating flavor of Tenka Ippin’s ramen in a convenient, easy to carry cup.

So how are you supposed to consume it? The sign, which proudly boasts that the Nakano Tenka Ippin is the first restaurant in Japan to offer this service, says “Enjoy Tenka Ippin’s kotteri broth while you’re out and about!” and “How about warming yourself up with some delicious kotteri broth?”, which imply that they expect you to sip it like a cup of hot soup (and, indeed, the Japanese word for broth is suupu, a corrupted pronunciation of the English “soup”). Alternatively, you could take the broth home and pour it over some noodles you boiled in your kitchen, or onto rice or dumplings, as one satisfied culinary pioneer reports doing.

Cup de Kotteri is priced at 150 yen (US$1.45) a cup, pretty close to what you’ll pay for a drink from one of Japan’s ubiquitous vending machines. Alternatively, Tenka Ippin also has cook-your-own ramen kits with the ingredients to make the broth yourself, but for fans who want their fix ASAP, the Cup de Kotteri is here to help.

Restaurant information
Tenka Ippin (Nakano branch) / 天下一品中(中野店)
Address: Tokyo-to, Nakano-ku, Arai 1-9-3
Currently open 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (ordinarily 11 a.m.-3 a.m.)

Source: Jin
Images ©SoraNews24
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