Pork bones and marrow, boiled until they yield a thick broth. Thickly cut slices of semi-caramelised pork belly with just the right amount of fat hanging off the tender meat as you pluck the pieces from the abundant broth with your chopsticks. This is Kyushujangara Harajukuten.
Kyushujangara Harajukuten, located a stones-throw from Harajuku Station or a short stroll from Shibuya, dishes out an incredibly generous tonkotsu, with ‘lots of toppings’ – salty cod roe, thick slices of pork belly, seaweed, bamboo, boiled egg and spring onions. The ramen is on the slightly more expensive side at 1100 yen but oh-so worth it. To add to the unbelievable toppings, in front of you as you slurp is pickled spicy greens, garlic, ginger and various shakers filled with pepper, chilli and salt to add to your ramen as you please.
This was the first ramen to touch my lips in Tokyo and it may have ruined me for all future ramen ventures. After eating ramen all over Japan, upon our return to Tokyo, we quickly returned to slurp up the tonkotsu ramen one last time. The pork is deliciously sweet, chewy and perhaps the best I have ever had. The salted cod roe added an incredibly salty kick which perfectly complimented the broth. The noodles are not too soft, nor too hard. They are balanced perfectly textually and you can even have an unlimited refill for 150 yen.
If heaven exists and it has ramen, it would be exactly like this.