While browsing Google Maps in Kyoto, I found a very high rated - yes, it's a Michelin Award winner - ramen shop far away from the city center. Before the shop opened for dinner, a line is already formed at shop front. Everything I ordered here are undoubtedly really good! Plus, I found one of the best kara'age I've ever had!
Shoyu Soy Sauce-base Ramen
Touhichi is 30 minute bus ride away from Kyoto center. It's located in a small, quiet district not far from Kinkaku-ji金閣寺, the Golden Pavilion and Daitokuji Temple. Anyway, the shop specializes in organic ramen, and secretly, they have extremely good chicken!
From the looks of the vending machine, the restaurant seems to recommend their chicken shoyu ramen, chicken shoyu tsukemen, chicken oil oiru tsukemen, or chicken paitan, ranging from 700 to 800 yen, which is around US$7-8. With many tables ordering kara'age (fried chicken), I can't resist and ordered one as well (400 yen).
Oh my god... It is soooo tasty! The umami of the shoyu soup is so delicious! It's rich, but not yet too heavy! All the toppings are perfect too! The tori paitan is very unique as well, it has a egg yolk flavor in the broth. It feels like the yolk is to bring the creaminess as well as the flavor out of the chicken bone white soup! Usually I feel like paitan has an overwhelmed heaviness with the noodles, but this time, I slurp more and slurp, trying to figure out what makes this bowl so delicious and so balanced! o_O
Touhichi's awesome karage fried chicken
The fried chicken karaage is FANTASTIC! Other than the usual salt and pepper and Shichimi Japanese seven spice, what surprised me was this cumin spice! Reminds me of China Xin Jiang's lamb skewers. With an outer crispy layer, the meat is juicy and tender inside.
This meal is very fulfilling! If I was to choose only one favorite dish, I don't really think I can choose one over another! They are all worth another round of try! And did you realize how cheap they are? I would say it is probably half the price if you are going to have a similar dish (of course with only average quality and taste) in the US. Yummm, can't wait to go back to this great Kyoto ramen specialist again!
Check out a host of Japanese culture and cuisine observations at Fanny Chu's excellent Japanese Foodie blog. If you are as ramen crazy as we are, why not subscribe for ramen updates?