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Ramen Databases

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While I lament the ramen scene in NYC on the Manhattan board, I'm anxiously planning a triumphant slurping return to Japan- at least for a few weeks- next month and again in December. I've always been fond of the first database below (never been steered wrong) and the second one is certainly more professional looking. Anyone have any other online ramen resources?

http://www5a.biglobe.ne.jp/~tacky/rdb...

http://www.ramendb.com/

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  1. I don't think this one has been updated for a while, but I always liked the author's enthusiasm:

    http://www.worldramen.net/

    There's also this small, but friendly page:

    http://www.geocities.com/philipcudira...

    My current favorite bowl of ramen is at Higomons, one of the shops in the "ramen center" under the tracks at Shinagawa station:

    http://www.shinatatsu.com/raumen/kaku...

    1. You know, I never heard about this Shinatatsu ramen thing in Shinagawa, and I was in that area all the time. I'm going to definitely check out some of the shops there. Thanks for the tip.

      1. For Ramen go to Sapporo...the home of ramen noodle. make sure you try some genghis khan too. the sapporo brewery has all you can eat / drink genghis khan / sapporo beer for dirt cheap.

        1. Silverjay,
          I too have in-laws in Japan, and have been there enough to get hooked on some serious ramen. Have spent most of my time in Tokyo, but have also had some fine bowls in Kittakatta and at the Ramen Museum in Yokohama (highly recommended, by the way). Have yet to get to Hokkaido, but my wife has some friends there, so I hope to make it there some day.

          I too, in your words, lament the ramen scene in NYC, but I give kudos to certain places for their effort. It has to start somewhere, and there seems to be a growing interest, and far more places that serve Ramen, than there were as little as five years ago. I'm hearing rumors, though, that the LA Ramen scene is surprisingly good.

          Thanks for the links; I will definitely check them out. Debbie M. is right - I have yet to see any updates on WorldRamen.net in a number of years.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Polecat

            short of santouka, there is not much that is particularly good in L.A. hakata shin sen gumi is about as good as menchanko-tei (that midtown one) that i went to in new york, with a little bit more atmosphere.

            if you're in tokyo, stop by taishoken-higashi ikebukuro before they close for good in feb of next year. they invented tsukemen "dipping-style" ramen. i just went there recently - here's the writeup with some pictures:

            http://www.rameniac.com/resource/comm...

            i'm taking over where bon left off with worldramen btw, or at least that is the goal.

            1. re: rameniac

              I went to Taishoken, waited 45 minutes in line, wasn't all that impressed. I recently posted about my experience there on this board, and wound up having my post removed for bringing up cleanliness issues. And I'm a guy who likes a greasy spoon, the average hole-in-the-wall being my kind of place. That said, I realize how legendary and popular this place is, and, for that reason alone, I would never discourage others from visiting. This is clearly a case of personal taste and preference.

              Love your site.
              P.

              1. re: rameniac

                Nice work on your site. I'll definitely be checking back if you continue to update with Tokyo shops- preferably not the famous ones that have been covered elsewhere... Just a suggestion though, while we are on the topic of databases- might want to reconfigure your scoring system if you plan to rate places with a numeric system. Looks like all aspects are weighted evenly, which might tell us something about the shop but not the quality of the ramen. Atmosphere, sides, and noodles are getting same weight as soup. On the Japanese sites I posted above, they pay heavy deference to the soup, which let's face, makes or breaks a ramen. Again, just a suggestion and again, nice work on the site.

                1. re: Silverjay

                  thanks for the tips! yea, the scoring is still "in beta," so to speak. i'm gonna make a thing to explain how it works - but basically ambiance, etc. don't really count, they're just there in case you wanna know. currently it's all about the soup+noodles+toppings which adds up to "the in the bowl" rating way at the bottom (with a 30 max score possible).

                  i agree that the soup is the critical component and was actually considering weighing it more heavily, but some people really make a big deal out of the noodles or even toppings (which is what friends of mine go to kyushuu jangara for). maybe i'll make soup max out at 11 in a spinal tap sort of way! haha...

                  another thng i've noticed in some of the japanese guides is that they don't so much "rate" the ramen as they do break it down via descriptions of soup density, noodle thickness, and stuff like that. something i'm considering implementing as well.

                  as for tokyo, yea i'll be hitting as much as i can. this was my first trip back there in a while and i felt like i had to cover the major places first. in two weeks, i managed to eat about 20 bowls of ramen, but i also went down to kyushu and spent a good chunk of time with the tonkotsu ramen down there. many more writeups to come. for tokyo - kurofune, taishoken eifuku-cho, shiodome, arashi, tanaka-shoten, ganso ebisu and possibly a few others are currently in the works! stay tuned!

            2. There is a restaurant i think on 48th / 7th called Sapporo. Their speciality is Ramen noodle. My favorite is the sesame base one.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Hot Chocolate

                It's actually on 49th. I love this place, but not for their ramen, which I have always found to be overrated. When I hit Sapporo, it is for their Chahan (Japanese-style fried rice), a beer and some great old school atmosphere.

                As you mentioned, though, I would, someday, like to hit the real Sapporo, in Hokkaido, to sample the Ramen up there. Anyone have any recommendations?

                1. re: Polecat

                  Sapporo city, the real place, is great for ramen (especially miso) and also for food in general. I went several years ago, but don't have my notes. Wow, great food there....The Ramen Museam I've been to several times and like very much. Good place to sample many different types. Lousy location from central Tokyo though. Actually, I'm contemplating taking the in-laws there so they can take in the Showa Era motif...and good ramen. They live not too far away.....There is no where in NYC that would even register on my ramen quality chart. The best hope is really for more quality chains like Santouka to make inroads here. Overall though, I've actually really gotten into the databases I posted above and have done some advanced scouting for my forthcoming visits. Looking forward to posting my results.

                  1. re: Silverjay

                    The Ramen Museum is at Shin-Yokohama - only 15 minutes from Tokyo Station (and even closer to Shinagawa) if you take the Shinkansen. Adding in the train fare makes it a pricey bowl of ramen, but it's a free trip if you happen to have a Japan Rail pass.

                    1. re: Robb S

                      Excellent site, Robb (Robb's site: www.bento.com
                      ). How long have you been living in Japan?

                      Do you have any Ramen recommendations for the Koiwa area of Tokyo? This is where my wife's family lives. Up until a few years ago, there was an amazing Ramen-ya, called Manten, that served up an incredibly rich and flavorful bowl of Miso-Chashu ramen. The Chashu melted in your mouth like butter, and was loaded with flavor. Sadly, this place changed ownership a few years back, and has not been the same since. I know a few decent places on the Kurumaibashi Dori, but I'm always on the lookout for recommendations for when we go.

                      Let me know what some of your favorite Tokyo Ramen joints are, if you get a chance. Thanks. P.

                      1. re: Polecat

                        Thanks a lot P-Cat, I'm glad you like the site.

                        Sorry I don't know too much about Koiwa. My favorite ramen spot in town is probably Ezogiku in Nishi-Waseda (on Waseda-dori). And I like Kowloon in Shinjuku, which does an interesting ramen with octopus.

              2. The Ramen Ninja is also a good website for reading about different ramen joints. It hasn't been updated in a month or so, but it is definitely worth checking out.

                http://www.geocities.jp/theramenninja/

                1. A good resource for the ramen in japan is ramen nippon net. Have a look.

                  http://www.ramen-nippon.net/