All About Japan

New Ramen Fad Has Fans Saying 'Cheese Please'

| Ramen , Tokyo

In the neverending quest to taste all the best ramen in Japan, we’ve eaten all sorts of unusual combinations ranging from mud ramen to noodles in blue broth and even strawberry sauce with white chocolate. Now it’s time to treat our taste buds to yet another unorthodox ramen dish, and this one comes from Japan’s popular Yokohama Iekei ramen chain.

We visited their Kanda Misakicho branch in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward and when we went to the ticket machine to place our order, we saw exactly what we had come here for.

We weren’t here just for the silky smooth noodles, nor for a taste of the chain’s signature broth. What we were here for was the unusual topping: slices of baguette with grilled cheese.

Another thing Iekei is known for is its free rice deal, which allows customers to add more carbs to their meal with a bowl of rice at no extra cost. We can never resist a free offer, so we decided to go for the triple carb jackpot, and when it arrived, it looked like this:

The first thing that caught our eye was the cheesy bread topping. We’ve tried a lot of ramen in our time, but never have we had a bowl served up with slices of baguette and grilled cheese on top. Dipping into the broth, we were impressed by the rich, creamy flavor of the tonkotsu (pork bone broth), and the thin noodles were cooked to perfection, with a generous amount sitting inside the bowl.

Happy with the ramen and the broth, it was now time to get stuck into that deliciously gooey grilled cheese baguette. The only problem was, we weren’t entirely sure whether we should use chopsticks or our hands to dip it into the broth.

Iekei was breaking all the ramen rules with their bread topping, so we figured there were no rules when it came to how it should be eaten. With that in mind, we grabbed a slice with our chopsticks and dunked it into the broth.

The mixture of hot, rich ramen broth and cheesy bread was truly a match made in heaven. And though we’ve had soup and bread before, combining the everyday staple with the taste of tonkotsu broth was such a surprising and unexpected flavor that we were determined to add cheese and toast to every bowl of ramen we eat from now on.

The whole thing became even tastier when we added rice on top of the bread, along with some noodles, for a mouthful of satisfying carb-rich goodness.

It’s a delectable dish that you’ll definitely want to try more than once, and it’s now got us dreaming about spreading Baby Star Ramen Ice Cream on bread this summer.

Iekei Ramen Tanaka / 家系ラーメン 田中
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Misakicho 3-1-10
東京都千代田区神田三崎町3-1-10
Open 10:30a.m.-11:30p.m. (Mon-Fri) 10:30a.m.-11:30p.m. (Sat) 10:30a.m.-7:00p.m.

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