Trying out a hot-topic nira soba.

Maybe it’s because he watches a lot of food-related videos when he’s browsing the web, but our Japanese-language reporter P.K. Sanjun’s social media feed is always full of tasty-looking grub. Out of that tasty grub, recently it’s garlic chive ramen, also called nira soba, that’s been grabbing his eyes

Looking at the vibrant green of the garlic chives contrasted with the bright yellow yolk of the egg dropped in the bowl, P.K. couldn’t imagine nira soba isn’t delicious, and so he dashed off to try what he says is being called a new famous item of Tokyo’s Akihabara neighborhood: the Reiwa Nira Soba at ramen restaurant Hyakunen Honpo.

As Japanese foodies already know, nira soba itself isn’t a particularly new kind of food. Ramen topped with minced garlic chives is something that’s been on the menu at popular Chinese restaurants in Japan for a long time.

But the name of the dish at Hyakunen Honpo is Reiwa Nira Soba, as in Reiwa, the name of the new Japanese imperial calendar era. How would it be different from the nira soba of the previous Heisei and Showa era? P.K. was very curious.

It seems that Reiwa Nira Soba was supposed to be a limited-time menu item. It proved so popular, though, that Hyakunen Honpo promoted it to permanent-menu status. Even still, because it uses so many garlic chives, the Reiwa Nira Soba is limited to just 15 orders a day. It comes in two styles, with broth or without, and both cost 1,380 yen (US$9.25).

▼ Hyakunen Honpo

P.K. arrived at Hyakunen Honpo a little after 11 a.m. Even at that time, he could see that over half the customers inside had ordered the Reiwa Nira Soba. It was, as he’d expected, a kind of ramen that’s getting a lot of attention.

P.K. ordered the no-broth version, but whether your order it with broth or without, it comes with a side of ginger rice that they bring to you.

Also, of you ask the staff in advance…


Yes, as you can see, a key point is that for the finishing touch, they pour hot beef tallow onto the Reiwa Nira Soba. If you ask them in advance, they’ll let you know when they’re going to do it so you can take pictures (unless it’s too crowded and busy for them to wait for you to get your camera ready).

Well, there it was in front of P.K., the Reiwa Nira Soba with its green garlic chives and yellow egg yolk stimulating his appetite! You don’t just get minced garlic chives, but even garlic chive paste around the bottom of the egg.

He started eating right away, and of course, the flavor of the garlic chives was incredible! So strong! A lot of the garlic chives get tangled up in the broad, medium-thickness noodles, so it’s a flavor overflowing with wildness.

There’s no broth, but there is a soy-based sauce at the very bottom of the bowl, but the aroma and crunchy texture of the garlic chives makes their flavor permeate everything. It seems they use an entire bunch of garlic chives for each bowl.

Another great thing about the Reiwa Nira Soba is that you can put some of the garlic chives on the ginger rice to make a niradon, or garlic chives rice bowl. This is obviously delicious! This nira soba is delicious twice in the same meal – that’s what makes it Reiwa Nira Soba.

Even though it’s a permanent menu item, with only 15 orders available each day, this is not an easy ramen to get. But P.K. says the deliciousness is deserving of being called a new famous food of Akihabara, so for those of you who are interested, how about going to Hyakunen Honpo to try it?

Restaurant information
Hyakunen Honpo / 百年本舗
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Soto Kanda 3-8-9
Open 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Photos © SoraNews24
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