A Ramen Chain Puts the 'Koh' in Comfort (Food)
I've had my share of bad ramen too. I've had chashu (sliced meat topping) so tough it was like gnawing on a piece of rubber. I've had ramen soup that tasted like dirty socks (not that I've tried dirty socks but I'm pretty sure they would have tasted the same). I've had soggy noodles I didn't even bother finishing.
Which brings me to Kohmen, a ramen chain with branches in Ikebukuro, Harajuku, Shinjuku, Takadanobaba, and Ebisu, places with heavy foot traffic. While some food snobs turn their noses up on chain restaurants, I prefer not to judge a restaurant on whether it's a chain or not but whether the food is good. The very first time I visited Kohmen, I ordered their tonkotsu ramen. The first thing that impressed me about it was the soup's rich, deep and almost creamy flavors of pork and chicken, only possible from stewing bones for hours. The chashu was tender and tasty, the ajitsuke tamago (flavored egg) perfectly boiled so the yolk is gel-like, and the noodles al dente. Honestly, there's nothing more you'd want from a comforting bowl of ramen and at ¥830 a bowl, slightly cheaper than most restaurants.
Kohmen also offers tantanmen (sesame paste added to Kohmen's signature pork and chicken broth), tsukemen (slightly thicker noodles and dipped into a thicker soup that has added seafood), and gyoza, all of which are excellent and worth trying.
I've been to several branches of Kohmen and can reassure you that you'll get exactly the same good food every time. That's another good thing about chains. Say yes to a point card when it's offered to you. You will find it easy enough to collect enough stamps to get ¥500 off your next bowl.
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