Fuunji Tokyo: A life-changing bowl of tsukemen ramen in Shinjuku

Fuunji Tokyo was said to serve up some of the best tsukemen in the city, and since I had never tried that type of ramen before (I know, I know) I was looking forward to trying it. The shop is a popular spot for both locals and tourists, so be sure to arrive early or go late, otherwise you should expect a queue (we went just after it opened and we still didn’t get a seat right away). There are only two things on the menu: ramen or dipping noodles (tsukemen), but the vast majority come for the latter. And trust me, it doesn’t disappoint.

Vibe at Fuunji Tokyo

Outside the ramen shop
Inside – looking to the back of the restaurant
Inside – at the front of the queue, looking to the entrance of the restaurant

Fuunji Tokyo is not somewhere you go to have a casual bowl of ramen and catch up with your friends. It’s definitely more of a get in, stuff your face with noodles, and get out kind of place. When we arrived, there wasn’t a queue outside the restaurant like I had read about (apparently the queues can be huge if you go during peak hours), but there was one inside. People actually queue up behind people eating, which certainly adds a bit of pressure to finish your meal quickly. Thankfully, we were able to get seats by the entrance, which meant no one was breathing down our back. There were a handful of other tourists there, which made me believe this place was more popular than I had originally thought. The main chef (perhaps owner?) had longer, light brown hair, was incredibly friendly, and could speak a bit of English.

Tsukemen Ramen

Order and pay for your ramen through this machine first
Tsukemen ramen (large noodles)
Tsukemen ramen

Right as you enter the door, you’ll see a big machine on your right. This is where you order your noodles. The choices are ramen (‎¥‎750), special ramen (‎¥‎950), dipping noodle (‎¥‎800), and special dipping noodle (‎¥‎1,000). I’ll be honest: I have no clue what the difference is between the “special” version and the regular version, but we knew we wanted the dipping noodle and everyone ahead of us ordered the special dipping noodle, so we just followed suit and did the same.

The noodles come in either small or large (no extra charge for the large), so I obviously ordered the large. Shortly after we sat down, an actual mountain of noodles arrived alongside the soup and I actually struggled to finish the whole thing. The tsukemen broth is a mixture of rich chicken with hints of fish. The fishy taste is heightened by the spoonful of fish powder on top. Not realizing the tsukemen came with an egg and seaweed, I ordered an extra serving of both (oops!) at ¥‎100 each. The tsukemen also came with a good amount of tender chunks of pork, hidden at the bottom of the bowl. One thing I was surprised about was that the ramen actually wasn’t hot; the noodles were cold and the soup was mild in temperature, but I really didn’t mind. It was pretty much love at first slurp with this tsukemen.

Verdict

The intense and rich flavored broth completely won me over and I would absolutely return to Fuunji Tokyo the next time I visit the city. If you’re looking for good quality tsukemen in an authentic Japanese ramen shop, head to Fuunji. Just be sure to arrive right when it opens or go late at night, otherwise you’ll likely be queuing for at least an hour or so.

Fuunji
2-14-3, Yoyogi
Shinjuku
Tokyo

Tel: +81 3 6413 8480

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