Our efforts trying to locate Gogyo, from just a few blocks away from where we were staying in Roppongi, seem to have mirrored Matt Gross’ logistical befuddlement, and contributed during that brief moment to the anticipation and excitement of a bowl of burnt miso ramen, the mini-chain’s calling card.
When at last we found it, across from a US army base, just as ramen blogger Ramen Adventures advertised, we were just ahead of the lunchtime rush, and even then we had to wait for ten minutes.
These were ten minutes we would gladly wait again and again for some of these gloriously wonderful ramen (and some appetizing side dishes, especially the karaage):
The pork was much smaller and more belly-like in consistency, on par with Santouka’s special pork (which is pork neck), albeit cut less delicately. The burnt miso was tremendous, adding just the right level of salt and savory to the surfaces to which it clung (with a gentle brush of spice and an afterthought of bitterness for further complexity). Thin noodles made the slurping part easier, punctuated by robust stalks of menma (bamboo shoots) and a runny half-egg.
The karaage fried chicken was also tasty, with a dry, uneven breading that I really appreciated for not encumbering the chicken. Don’t get me wrong, I love my breading as much as the next man, but this was just really nicely done.Stare into my eyes (said the bowl of remnants of tonkotsu broth and burnt miso dredges)…
Go Ramen! says Gogyo is from a larger parent company that spawned Hakata Ippudo and the Shinyokohama Raumen Museum, and while I haven’t been to the latter, I can definitely see the similarities in noodle style (and to an extent in the richness of the broth) between Ippudo and Gogyo. That is a good thing.
Rojiman Nishiazabu 1F
1-4-36, Nishiazabu, Minato ward, Tokyo