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五ノ神製作所 (Gonokami-seisakujo)- shrimp broth tsukemen in Shinjuku

I joke around with a couple of foodie friends that on my tombstone, I want it to read “He loved shrimp.” It is from this passion, I offer you Gonokami-seisakujo (五ノ神製作所) a well-heralded shrimp tsukemen joint in Shinjuku. The lush, bisque-like broth is made from “freshly selected sweet shrimp (amaebi)”, pork and chicken fat, and fine ground up tiny sakura ebi. The effect is a slightly sweet, potently shrimpy, umami-bomb of a dipping broth. While many seafood based ramen broths can yield sweetness, they will also imbue fishiness, sometimes a brininess, and if katsuo is used in quantity, smokiness. Not so with this creamy, balanced shrimp version. Mind you, this is not necessarily a salty upfront assault to the palate like the quite visually striking reddish hue might imply. So while bisque-like in mouthfeel, the flavor intensity comes in more subtle form- which is just as well as the noodles are excellent. House made and completely unique, they are thick gauge, light brown, and flecked with some sort of grain. Wheat? Rye? Soba? Not sure. But they serve as the perfect vehicle for the broth.

They offer three broths- the basic shrimp, a shrimp miso, and a shrimp tomato. The later version comes with a bright dab of fresh pesto on the noodles and a slice of bread…Hmm, would have liked to have been a fly on the wall when they sketched out that one…My photo is of the regular shrimp broth.

This shop, with a cool tiled interior and young staff, is located on a back street off of Meiji Dori one block from Takashimaya. It’s a short walk from either Shinjuku or Shinjuku 3-chome Stations. They are open year-round and until 9pm. Expect to wait in line. BTW, “Gonokami-seisakujo” means “5-Gods Factory” or something like that.….Oh, they will top off your soup for you for free- not add simple broth or hot water- the actual completed soup. Never seen this before. Great service.

http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1304/A13040...
http://locoplace.jp/t000031679/

 
 
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  1. I was with Silverjay when he visited the Five Gods of Shrimp and I must admit that this one, with its rich shrimp gravy dipping sauce, really pinned the richness meter. The industrial grade fat squarish noodles were also a very delicious mouthful. Silverjay really knows his noodles, as this visit proved.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Tripeler

      T'was a pleasure....Let's also mention that this place is a stone's throw or two from Watering Hole, a very nice (tho bit pricey) craft beer bar nearby.

      1. re: Silverjay

        My first trip for this year is coming up in a couple weeks so I will put this place on the list.

        1. re: kamiosaki

          Line of about 30 people on a Sunday (morning after the 45-year snow). Went back the following day for lunch and the line was < 10. Yes this was very good - you have to like the taste of shrimp a lot though. The shrimpy flavor was really strong. Also make sure you tell them what noodle amount you want when they come out for the ticket - was still a bit let lagged and forgot and got the 450g by default. Thanks for the rec.

           
           
           
    2. Directions in English and a map?

      12 Replies
      1. re: OGguy

        You just walk until it all of a sudden becomes really cold (in winter) or insanely humid (in summer) as you're just by Shinjuku Gyoen. :)

        Here's the map:

        https://goo.gl/maps/CQNXs

        I tried this place twice - the first time (when it was very hot and humid) was more enjoyable as the second time I came in pretty much frozen stiff, which made the cold noodle experience somewhat less appealing (not to mention using chopsticks with a barely functioning hand is like peeling an orange with boxing gloves on

        )

        The broth is indeed very intense, and I think of better quality than some of the fish meal + pork bone combos.

        1. re: Gargle

          You can order the men atsumori if you don't like them cold. Did you try one of those other soups?

          1. re: Silverjay

            Really? they only offered us a choice of 350 + topping or 450 grams, not sure if the atsumori is a new thing or I didn't notice it. Never saw them topping soup off either. We tried the tomato+pesto combo as well as the shrimp+miso. I think the regular one is the best as the others are more intense yet.

            1. re: Gargle

              There are wooden cubes on the dining counter, written in Japanese, advertising free soup refills, men atsumori (warm noodles), assari/ kotteri (thin/ thick) soup customization, etc.

              Except for free soup (it's usually just broth top off), these are pretty standard customization offerings. You can pretty much always ask for atsumori at tsukemen places.

              1. re: Silverjay

                Ah, I didn't notice. I think I only read up to the point about self service water and bibs before diving into the noodles :blush:

                1. re: Silverjay

                  Are the cubes the actual way of indicating that you want soup-wari or men atsumori,or whatever (like the cards at a radizio place) or just telling you what you can ask for and where the napkins are etc.

                  1. re: kamiosaki

                    They are just signs written in marker. You need to tell staff your preferences.

                    1. re: kamiosaki

                      I have to tell you that unlike Silverjay (and unlike what you see in other tsukemen places), I didn't see anyone asking for anything after sitting down, but ymmv. Anyway, noodles, broth, the subject of much fetishization but really glorified CalorieMate, this shop is not a bad option (which is much more than you can say about most of them) but I'd still go to Warito :)

                      1. re: Gargle

                        Not following your CalorieMate reference. But anyway, the soup refills and the wooden block things play prominently in the TL photos and kuchikomi commentary. I enjoyed some extra soup myself. Can't remember if Tripeler did...

                        http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1304/A13040...

                        1. re: Silverjay

                          That is really weird because I didn't see those boxes or QR codes there, maybe they're only there during lunch? I'll pay more attention next time.

                          CalorieMate = quick, cheap, and usually artificially flavored way for the working person to fill up on calories that the native cuisine falls short on.

                          Ramen = ...

                          1. re: Gargle

                            We ate there at about 8:45pm...after some excellent sake imbibing and small plates elsewhere.

                            I think for visitors to Tokyo looking for a trifecta tsukemen experience:

                            -Gonokami offers up good shrimp soup
                            -Warito does pork-seafood soup
                            -Fu'unji for chicken-seafood soup

          2. Can anyone post the kanji to order the basic shrimp tsukemen, large size noodles, hot noodles? Greatly appreciated.

            10 Replies
            1. re: tigerjohn

              海老つけ麺, 麺大盛. Tell them you want the men "atsumori".

              1. re: Silverjay

                Thanks. Looking forward to comparing with Fu-unji.

                1. re: tigerjohn

                  Let us know how they compared, in your opinion. Good luck!

                  1. re: tigerjohn

                    Fu'unji is chicken and niboshi broth. This place is shrimp (with some chicken and pork, but mostly shrimp). There are other shrimp places. I will try to check one or two out and write up next time I'm in country.

                    1. re: Silverjay

                      A brief review of Gonokami-seisakujo. Thanks to Silverjay for making the ticket buying easier and for getting me hot noodles on a cold rainy day.

                      Initially, we were expecting a line at 12:00pm on a Sunday during hanami season and so close to Shinjuku Gyoen but when the forecast called for 13 degrees, rain and high wind, we didn't know whether this would deter people from going and standing in line or if diners would linger longer. Turned out it was the former as the place was half full (but a line would form by the time we finished).

                      Very easy with the kanji to select the ebitsukemen ticket and we asked how to purchase an additional ticket for the omori men portion and requested 'atsumori'- hot noodles.

                      On the noodles themselves (and not being ramen expert), they weren't as springy as my other favorite tsukemen places (Fuunji and Tetsu). Maybe this was because these men were hot. However, the whole wheat? noodle had a more interesting flavor even with the intense broth.

                      What impressed me most was the broth itself, which managed to be intense and diverse in its flavor without being as heavy as at the aforementioned places. The cha-su chunks while lacking in smokiness had a smoothy texture and went well with the broth. The shrimp flavor of the broth was excellent, in part due to the fact that there was much less salt (or at least there appeared to be) which allowed the sweetness of the shrimp to shine through. The turnip was very nice, not bitter like in other renditions.

                      My wife who is somewhat anti-pork and won't go near pork--based broths liked it so much that she has insisted this be part of our regular Tokyo rotation.

                      1. re: tigerjohn

                        Have you ever ordered the 'burning stone' at Tetsu?

                        1. re: Steve

                          Yes. Every time. Have to be careful and wait a few minutes after the stone goes in though. Had my toungue burned the first time.

                          1. re: tigerjohn

                            What is the advantage to the burning stone? Does it impart any flavor?

                            1. re: Steve

                              It's a gimmick to heat up the soup.

                        2. re: tigerjohn

                          Tigerjohn,
                          When Silverjay took me, I joked that the combination of the shrimp and lard made it the "double-treyf special." It as indeed a very umami-full experience and easily the most interesting form of ramen I have had in years. Silverjay is certainly a great guide in finding/identifying Tokyo's culinary treasures. Great to hear you and your wife enjoyed it so much, as I also did.

                2. Have you been to this place, listed below? Is it still open?

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKWxVU...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Steve

                    In answering my own question, ti is stil listed on Tablelog and shows up on Google Street Maps, so I guess it si still in business.