Tomita | とみ田
Style: Tonkotsu Gyokai Tsukemen
Bowl to Crush: Tokusei Tsukesoba (特製つけそば)
If there’s only one bowl of tsukemen you are ever going to eat — and time, effort and distance matter nothing to you — Tomita is probably the right choice.
Tomita opened in 2006 amid the peak of a tonkotsu-gyokai craze then sweeping the Kanto region. The literal translation of gyokai is 'seafood,' but in the ramen world it generally refers to soup made by boiling down Japanese dried fish and shellfish. Most types are made from dried niboshi (baby sardines) or katsuo (skipjack tuna). To this day, tonkotsu-gyokai shops consistently score highly in Japan's online ramen rankings, and it's one of the most popular styles among young men in Tokyo.
Tomita-san has cemented himself as one of the kings of this genre. For years the shop carried the highest ranking on Japan's online ramen database, and Tomita-san has won multiple titles for serving the best tsukemen in the country.
The master's namesake shop is worthy of the hype – this is the world's ultimate tsukemen experience. Thick, creamy, mind-blowing soup, laden with liquefied chunks of pork and fish matter that stick to the handmade dipping noodles marvelously. The noodles are thick, chewy and house-made. The chashu slabs are succulent and fatty. No shortcuts anywhere. The richness is almost overkill. But it's so damned good. If Anthony Bourdain eats at just one shop in Japan, this should be it. Tomita also serves ramen, but the tsukemen is the way to go.
Not surprisingly, the shop consistently boasts one of the longest lines in the ramen world. Tomita-san is hands-on with everything in his shop, and only he makes the soup. This is not a high-turnover restaurant. Anywhere from one to three-hour waits are the norm. For many, this is a ramen pilgrimage you make only once.
Tomita | とみ田
Opening Hours: 10am - until the soup runs out (usually around 5pm)
Days Closed: Wednesday
1339 Matsudo, Matsudo, Chiba