Tasty ramen from warm-hearted chef near Hardy Barracks in Tokyo

Tasty ramen from warm-hearted chef near Hardy Barracks in Tokyo

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Slowly but surely, fall is on its way to Tokyo. The cooler season makes us want to enjoy something warm like rich and tasty ramen.

Ramen is considered Japan’s soul food and you’ll find that every region of the country has their own take on the delicious bowl of noodles and broth. Many restaurants offer options on the broth base like soy sauce, miso, tonkotsu (pork bone), salt, fish, and more.

In Japan, you have the luxury of sampling a large variety of ramen as you try to find your favorite. And, you’ll find ramen joints around every corner. Near Hardy Barracks in Roppongi, Kaotan Ramen Entotsuya is a great place for a quick and tasty lunch or dinner.

From the outside, Kaotan looks like a worn-down hut reminiscent of a 1950s Japanese house. Inside, the décor isn’t any fancier, but where Kaotan lacks in beauty, it makes up for in delicious ramen.

Order from handwritten menu sheets hanging on the walls. I recommend the signature “Kaotan ramen” for 780 yen (about $5.75). The broth is made from multiple dashi stock, finely chopped fried onion and savory pork rib slices topped with fixings like fresh garden peas, bean sprouts and pickled bamboo shoots.

If you visit during lunch, Kaotan lets you upsize your ramen or add a side of rice to your regular ramen serving free of charge.

During my lunch-time visit, I enjoyed chatting with the chef Akira Oikawa. Before coming to cook ramen at Kaotan, Oikawa worked as a licensed acupuncturist and moxa-cauterizer. Through our conversation, I learned of Oikawa’s attention to detail in his previous work and how he now applies it when crafting delicious ramen.

I enjoyed the conversation and the rich and flavorful ramen bowl Oikawa prepared for me.

If you can’t make it to lunch, Kaotan is also open all night until 5 a.m., perfect for those looking for a filling meal after a night in Roppongi.

Don’t let the rough exterior and interior of this interesting ramen joint deter you from trying the delicious ramen being served within. Try Kaotan for lunch or a late-night meal!

Kaotan Ramen Entotsuya

Hours: Mon - Sat, 11:30 a.m. – 5 a.m.

Location: 2-34-30 Minamiaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo


Tel: 03-3475-6337

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