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My Private Tokyo – 凪 ゴールデン街店 – Nagi Golden Gai

One of my next stops on the ramen tour ended up being a rather small but popular place in the heart of Shinjuku’s red light district that’s known for serving up some delicious shoyu flavoured ramen. It turned out to be right next door to a pub I had visited with a friend on my first trip to Japan. It would be a vast understatement to say the area has some interesting character to it, especially once the glow of the evenings kicks in.

After finding the rather nonchalant restaurant a friend and me took a trip up the surprisingly narrow and tight staircase, got our tickets from the vending machine and ventured back outside to wait for a few seats to open up. We made it just in time as a line quickly formed following our arrival.

Now, I’m sure we have all heard of some of the cramped spaces Tokyo’s restaurants at times have to offer. This particular place probably had the tightest setup I’ve experienced yet. This isn’t a bad thing of course,quite the contrary in fact as it makes for an environment with a bit of interaction with the friendly staff and other patrons and is something that is to a big extent unique (although not only) to Japan.

As for the meal, fantastic. I really don’t need to say much. To be honest shoyu ramen isn’t at the top of my list when it comes to flavours but this place ended up being extremely enjoyable. The big sheets of nori that came with the chashu filled bowl made for a surprisingly great combination a long with the various other ingredients. That also is nothing unique but it’s a combination this particular bowl has made me really appreciate.

After getting home that evening I already had a craving to return. Best of all? 24 hrs. I’ll be heading back there quite soon at this rate.

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