The Ramen War offers you the choice between Peace, Freedom, Pistole or a Rusty Blade.

Our reporter Seiji Nakazawa has long been visiting recommended restaurants around Tokyo, but his recommendations usually come from Japanese sources. Ever since he discovered threads on Reddit filled with recommendations from foreigners, however, his eyes have been opened to a new world of restaurants, some of which he’s never even heard of, let alone visited.

Hooked on this new adventure, Seiji is now taking us to the latest discovery that foreigners have been raving about on Reddit — a chain called Ramen Daisensou, which translates to “Ramen Great War”.

▼ The signage at the front of Seiji’s nearest branch goes with a more succinct title: “The Ramen War

It’s a memorable name for a ramen restaurant — just like its sister chain, Jinrui Mina Menrui (“Noodles for all Humanity”) — but would its ramen be just as memorable? Seiji headed out to his nearest branch at Nishi-Shinjuku, where he found a menu in English at the front of the store.

▼ A sign that this place is foreigner-friendly.

They even had a review of the restaurant in the store window, alongside some amazing-looking bowls of ramen.

Stepping inside, Seiji was pleasantly surprised by how clean and sleek the place was. He was more used to slurping cheap bowls of noodles in more rundown, well-worn surroundings, so this would be a new experience for him.

Perusing the menu was another new experience, because the ramen offerings here had wonderfully creative names like “Pistole“, “Peace“, “Rusty Blade” and “Freedom., which made him feel like he was in an episode of Attack on Titan.

According to what he’d read on Reddit, the dish to get here was the Pistole, which is the chain’s signature dish. Looking at the Japanese menu, the Pistole is based on Kansai dashi soy sauce ramen (“関西だし醤油ラーメン”), with “Kansai” being the region in Western Japan in and around Osaka. Kansai dashi soy sauce ramen is noticeably lighter in colour and flavour than Kanto dashi soy sauce ramen — “Kanto” is the region in Eastern Japan in and around Tokyo — and the Pistole is embellished with chicken and scallops for extra flavour.

▼ On the English menu, it’s translated as “Eastern-styled Ramen”, perhaps because “Western-styled Ramen” might confuse customers into thinking this is a Western dish.

Though prices here start at 930 yen (US$6.56), Seiji decided to go all out with his meal, ordering one of the meals he saw in the window — the “Tokusei Zeppin Negi & Torotto Rongu Nibuta Pistole (Nitama Haafu Tsuki)” which translates to “Special Deluxe Spring Onion & Rich Long Simmered Pork Pistole (With Half a Marinated Egg)“.

▼ Seiji’s dish cost 1,463 yen.

▼ From the top, this bowl of food looked like a festival of meat.

▼ In addition to the char siu around the edge of the bowl, there were two huge pieces of simmered pork in the mix.

The char siu was thinly sliced, with a light flavour similar to slices of roast pork. On the other hand, the simmered pork was richly flavoured and thickly sliced but it had a wonderful melt-in-the-mouth quality, and this contrast in flavours and texture showed a great level of expertise on the part of the chef.

The soy sauce broth was light and refreshing but it also had a rich, sweet taste. However, the thing that grabbed Seiji’s attention was the noodles.

The noodles weren’t chewy like typical ramen — they had a tighter texture that was more similar to spaghetti. It didn’t feel too out of place, as the noodles worked well with the broth, but it was noticeable enough that it made Seiji wonder if this type of noodle might be a specialty of the chain.

The unexpected texture might be a dealbreaker for noodle aficionados, but Seiji was perfectly happy with the meal, describing it as hearty and delicious. Like the udon restaurant in Harajuku that foreigners have been raving about on Reddit, this is a noodle restaurant that’s definitely worth visiting.

Store Locations: The Ramen War
Images © SoraNews24

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