Iida Shouten | らぁ麺屋 飯田商店

Iida Shouten | らぁ麺屋 飯田商店

Style: Shoyu & Shio w/ Chicken & Niboshi
Bowl to Crush: Shoyu Chashu Wontonmen (醤油チャーシューわんたん麺)

Iida Shouten sits hidden down a nondescript side street in the quiet seaside town of Yugawara, a solid two hours from central Tokyo in deep Kanagawa Prefecture. The shophouse has a stylish, rustic Japanese vibe. It appears to be a small, former warehouse of some kind. Inside, customers sit around a low-hanging counter on stools made from tree stumps. All of the details are done in wood. This is one of those shops that inspires confidence the moment you step through the door. You can immediately sense that the creative force behind Iida Shouten — Master Shouta Iida — is passionate about doing things right. 

The recommended dish is one of the finest shoyu ramens around – a clear, pure, dark soup that smacks you with a punch of rich shoyu on the first sip.  Decadent yellow chiyu (chicken oil) floats on the surface. Juicy pink chashu and tori chashu (chicken chashu) make for hearty toppings, while a few sprigs of fragrant mitsuba add freshness. Wontons are also an extra topping option (go for it).  

The shoyu ramen is the recommended bowl for first-timers here, but the tsukemen is definitely worth consideration too (if you're with a group, be sure to order both). The thin, house-made dipping noodles are served in a clear soup of konbu dashi. The shop recommends that you first try a few noodles separately with a bit of salt, almost like noodle sashimi. In addition to the thin, housemade noodles there are a few flat noodle "sheets" in the bowl too. The dashi gives both noodles a hint of seaweed sliminess – marvelous textures. A piece of kabosu citrus fruit adds a nice acidic dimension. Overall, a unique and delicious tsukemen experience. 

Iida Shouten also serves shio ramen, niboshi ramen and occasional gentei offerings (limited edition dishes) and seasonal specialties. Every bowl is exquisite and each comes with a different variety of house-made noodles. The dedicated ramen head needs to hit this shop multiple times – a project given its location. Board the train heading west and be prepared for a line at the door. Check out one of Yugawara's onsens while you're in town too. 

Iida Shouten | らぁ麺屋 飯田商店
Opening Hours: 11am-3pm (or until the soup runs out)
Days Closed: Monday
2-12-14 Doi Yugawara, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa
神奈川県 足柄下郡湯河原町 土肥 2-12-14

 
Ittou | 麵屋一燈

Ittou | 麵屋一燈

Hototogisu | 金色不如帰

Hototogisu | 金色不如帰

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