Food Review: Sobahouse Konjiki Hototogisu In Shinjuku, Tokyo | One Michelin Star Seafood Base Ramen Restaurant In Japan
The Place I love ramen and other than the mainstream Ichiran Ramen, I wanted to check out Sobahouse Konjiki Hototogisu in my recent Tokyo trip, the third Michelin Star ramen restaurant in the world after Tsuta and Nakiryu. The restaurant is located in a nondescript and quiet back lane in Shinjuku, and it is hard not to miss the snaking long queue even before its opening hours. Well, for a Michelin meal from 1000yen, that is quite expected.
I visited for dinner which starts at 6:30pm and waited for close to an hour before my turn. Seats are extremely limited with just a couple of counter seats and limited tables.
Ordering is easy, as you order via a vending machine (cash only) which has English translation for each option. There are also descriptions of each type of ramen on the wall beside the vending machine.
The Food The ramen broth here is not the typical tonkotsu (pork bone) or chicken base, but rather a seafood base with the use of Red Sea Bream and Clams. The Shio Soba (1000 yen) is the recommended bowl and since it was my first time, it was a no brainer for me to get this.
Do note that some options sell out really quickly and after an hour into the queue for me, there were many options which were not available already. The tip is to queue at least 30 minutes before its opening time.
On first sip, the broth has a nice sweetness to it from the sea bream and clams. The other unique take is that the broth also blends two types of salt (Mongolian rock salt and Okinawan sea salt), so you get that tinge of saltiness as well.
The ramen noodles texture is quite firm, which is my preferred texture for noodles. The noodles are also finished with Italian white truffle oil, porcini mushroom sauce, pancetta bacon bits and inca berry sauce.
While it sounds heavy from the list of ingredients, the overall taste is very well-balanced and umami, such that you do not get an overpowering truffle or mushroom taste. In fact, I do find myself sipping it till the last drop.
Other than Shio Soba, there is also the Shouyu Soba which is made from three types of soup stock – Clear Pork Broth, Wa-dashi (Japanese stock) and Hamaguri Clam Dashi.
Rants Braving through the queue. It can also be disappointing to queue for an hour only to realise that the ramen you are keen to try is sold out.
Will I Return Again? There are many ramen restaurants in Tokyo and Sobahouse Konjiki Hototogisu is worth a try if you enjoy seafood broth ramen. You also need to have the patience and time to budget at least 45-60 minutes of queuing time.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 2.5/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
Sobahouse Konjiki Hototogisu
Japan, 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Shinjuku, 2 Chome−4−1 第22宮庭マンション 1階105号室
Tel: +81 3-5315-4733
Monday to Friday: 11am to 1pm
Closed on Saturday & Sunday
Ranted by The Ranter