Playing a game of musical chairs – with wontons as the prize.
A few weeks back while still on vacation I was in the mood for some ramen. I knew of a very highly rated place called Yakumo within cycling distance of my house that I had been meaning to check out for a while. (Technically on the outskirts of Nakameguro, the shop is actually closer to Ikejiriohashi if you are coming by train. It’s also near CAMINO which I have written about before.) Despite being a weekday, Yakumo was rammed when I arrived at 12pm. It opens at 11:30am, so if you are planning on going on the weekend get there for opening, or even earlier. Queues at ramen shops, despite being a pain in the ass, are always a good sign as it’s usually an indicator that the food is going to be good. This place already has the accolades though: trophies and awards aplenty are on show at the entrance.
Basically, you will only find this place unless you go out of your way to visit. It’s in a nondescript area, with the shop on the second floor. First I had to stand outside. Then as the queue moved forward I got to sit on one of the four seats outside the shop. Then when I went inside there was another ‘inside queue’ where people shuffled from seat to seat before finally being seated at the counter. Despite the musical chairs, it’s actually a pretty good system as one of the guys takes your order when you are in the final queue. So your bowl comes not long after the final sit-down. And what a good looking bowl it is!
The shop offers a choice of white or black shoyu soup, or a hidden choice of ‘mix’ which I had read about. So even though it’s not openly available, tell them you want a mix of the two broths. What also makes this shop a bit different is that within the bowl are a load of wontons – homemade pork and shrimp dumplings. The silky outer casing of the wonton slides down great with the broth.
Definitely check this place out if you are in the neighbourhood – perhaps the best time being during sakura season in early April when the whole neighbourhood is bathed in pink cherry blossom petals. (Check out photos of that here.)
Address: Ohashi 1-7-2 (2nd Floor), Meguro-ku. Tokyo
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