In light of the social distancing recommendations put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, many more restaurants in Japan are offering takeout options than ever before, even places like Brazillian barbecue and buffet restaurants.
Our reporter Yuichiro Wasai has tried many ramen takeout options too, but he says they can be hit or miss. They’re always slightly different from the ramen that is served in the restaurant, so he hasn’t been entirely satisfied with his dinners. But popular Kyoto-based ramen shop Honge Daiichi Asahi’s takeout ramen is different, he says. He swears it’s exactly the same as eating it in-house.
Why? Because they literally put a their regular ramen recipe in a Styrofoam bowl. No frills, no bells and whistles, just the same delicious formula in a take-home container. Of course, that means it’s meant to be eaten right away; if your office or house is more than a few minutes’ walk from the restaurant, the noodles will soak up the broth and get extra soggy.
But fear not! If you live far away, they also have the option to buy the raw ingredients to make a bowl at home. The set includes everything you’ll need, including the noodles, vegetables, toppings, broth–which is frozen–, and even the chashu pork. You’ll just need a bowl of your own to put everything in when you want to eat. Of course, the set also includes instructions, so you’ll know how to make it just right. Yuichiro said that even with frozen broth, his homemade bowl of Daiichi Asahi ramen tasted exactly the same as what you get in the restaurant.
▼ The build-it-yourself Daiichi Asahi ramen
Both takeout options cost 780 yen, or 950 yen if you want chashu ramen. That’s the same price for ordering and eating it in the restaurant, so you don’t get charged anything extra by getting it to go. No change in flavor, no change in price…that’s a win-win!
Plus, you can even order Daiichi Asashi ramen for delivery online. In fact, it was actually ranked as the most popular choice on the ramen delivery website Takumen.com, so you know it’s good. However, it’ll cost 1,000 yen on Takumen, instead of 750, so you’ll be paying a bit of a premium for the extra convenience.
It’s important to note that the top-rated restaurant is not just any Honge Daiichi Asahi shop, but the Shinjuku (Tokyo) branch in particular. That’s also where Yuichiro got his ramen from, so he can only vouch for that particular restaurant’s takeout quality. The takeout experience may be different at the restaurant’s main branch, which is in front of Kyoto Station.
▼ Which is also super popular!
The flavors of the main branch and the Shinjuku branch are also a bit different to start with, so you’ll get a different experience between the two restaurants. But if you’re in Tokyo looking for a really delicious and authentic takeout ramen experience, look no further than Honge Daiichi Asahi’s Shinjuku branch. You don’t even need to bring a pot.
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