Chasu ramen at 銀座 梵天 Ginza Bonten – Tokyo

Slurping slow-cooked pork ramen at a neighbourhood noodle bar is a ‘must do’ in Japan

銀座 梵天 Ginza Bonten, a tiny restaurant behind our hotel turned out to be a winner with its beautiful wooden beams and stools, and tasty pork ramen and gyoza.

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梵天 – Bonten in Ginza neighbourhood noodle bar

As with many neighbourhood Japanese restaurants, you can’t see inside from the outside so it can be a bit of an adventure, wondering whether you’ll need to take off your shoes on entering then figuring out the food options if English isn’t spoken.

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Inside 梵天 Bonten – individual lunchtime diners seated along the counter

Inside, this restaurant only has about 20 covers, most of which are individual stools along the counter. With much bowing, smiling, and pointing on both sides, the host seated us at a corner table. And the Google translate app came in very handy indeed as the menu was all in Japanese.

Typical of a local restaurant like this, the menu offers a few variations on a limited number of speciality dishes, and it’s cash only.

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Owl bottle with a ball bearing lid

I order some form of fizzy lemonade that turns up in a cute owl shaped bottle (that’s perfect for holding) with a ball bearing lid. Intriguing.

We share fresh, hot gyoza (so, so good) to start, and both have chashu (marinated, slow-cooked, braised pork) ramen.

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Gyoza – Japanese pan-fried dumplings, crispy on the outside

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Gyoza – soft and juicy veggies in the middle

Check out this ramen bowl full of tender, tasty pork wedges:

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Chashu (marinated, slow-cooked, braised pork) ramen – braised in soy sauce, sake and sugar

The verdict: Best ramen I’ve ever had, by far. Excellent lunch spot, tucked away from Tokyo’s hectic main shopping streets.

What owning a ramen restaurant in Japan is like
Watch this 11 minute video – Go behind the scenes and see for yourself what’s involved in running a ramen shop in Japan (so much effort – it explains what makes the flavours so special).

 

Bonten restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
– Type: Ramen
– Address: 104-0061 Tōkyō-to, Chūō-ku, Ginza, 1 Chome−9−12
– Tel: +81 3-5579-9968
– Photos on flickr: Ginza Bonten photos
– Location + google reviews: Ginza Bonten map + reviews

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