On our way to the Tiffany Cafe, we passed by Ichiran Shibuya where we saw a few people waiting. It was about 10:45am and there was already a lineup out the door. We hesitated but the Tiffany donuts were calling our name. Around 12 noon, we popped back out to see that the lineup had queued all along the sidewalk and an Ichiran employee was standing there to direct traffic.
HOW TO ORDER
We counted about 30 people in front of us and unfortunately, Ichiran Shibuya doesn’t take reservations. However, the wait was only about 20 minutes before we were seated. The staff are VERY efficient at moving the crowd along.
At the entrance to the restaurant, there will be vending machines for you to order your food from. There is English all over the machine and the prices are clearly labelled. If you’re not sure if you need to buy extra noodles or meat, don’t worry. There’s a chance to order more inside the restaurant if you’re still hungry. We recommend just ordering the basic bowl of ramen for 980yen if you’re not sure.
After you pay and make your selections, hand your tickets to a staff member and they will give you a piece of paper to fill out your selections. Again, there’s a lot of English available so don’t worry.
Ichiran Shibuya shows their recommendations on the sheet of paper and if it’s your first time eating here, we say you should follow it. We personally think that there’s lot of delicious food to eat in Shibuya so don’t go stuffing yourself at one ramen place! Order enough just to feel full enough before heading off to your next foodie adventure.
Ichiran is so interesting because in all their locations, everyone gets a little booth to themselves. Whether you like the privacy is subjective but we’ve never seen anything like this. Note that at each individual seat, there’s a little hook under your table so you can hang your jacket there if you need to.
Our bowls of ramen were delivered to us within 5 minutes of sitting down. Just thinking of this broth makes me want to drool! The broth doesn’t have a thick, cloying taste yet holds a ton of umami flavor. This tonkotsu broth is a marvel and we haven’t found another ramen restaurant that comes close. We think this is the best ramen chain in Japan!
I like their noodles a lot too because they’re not thick. While they’re thin noodles, they have a lot of bounce when I bite into them. The green onions on the side should be mixed through your broth and adds a beautiful flavor to your soup.
Your bowl also comes with thinly sliced pieces of chashu (pork). Remember you can exclude this from your order if you’re not a fan of pork. I love how much flavor this meat has and it’s never tough. It has a decent amount of fat but never too much. If you’re wondering if you should order more noodles or chashu, I say go for chashu.
The portion might not look that big from the pictures, but we were both very full by the time we had slurped down the last soup drop. We say the value is very good here – they definitely do not skimp on the portion size.
At under 1, 000 yen per person to have a bowl of delicious ramen, we highly recommend Ichiran. You can find their locations scattered all over Japan. You can also buy their boxed ramen to take home. We compared prices all around Japan and we found that the price that they sell in their restaurant is the same whether you buy it at the airport or at a store like Don Quijote. If you’re looking for omiyage (souvenirs), their boxes of ramen would make a great gift!