An absolute must when visiting Japan is to try some authentic Japanese ramen. If you don't know where to start or are a bit overwhelmed by the vast array of ramen shops, definitely try Kohmen Ramen. The store in Roppongi is especially great, as it offers a quick and delicious meal in a cozy space that is always crowded with Japanese and foreign customers alike.
You will quickly notice that there is no shortage of Ramen shops in Tokyo. There seems to be a restaurant on every corner advertising different yet equally delicious styles of ramen. It is easy to get engulfed in the seemingly never ending choices one is faced with when it comes to pinpointing exactly where you should stop by for some mouthwatering ramen goodness.
Kohmen Ramen in Roppongi is one shop that you should definitely check out. Just a few blocks away from the famous Roppongi Crossing, this chain ramen shop is very easy to find. There often is a line outside during peak lunch and dinner times, but you never have to wait too long to get a table.
The layout of the restaurant is simple, with a somewhat open kitchen being the main focal point. There is a bar that surrounds the kitchen and a few two person tables lining the length of the shop. In the back you will find a few tables that offer more seating, but a larger party of six or more people would probably be harder to fit comfortably. The decor is straightforward and earthy, which really makes this shop feel intimate, yet still comfortable. When it is crowded it is best to get in, eat, and then get out as customers seem to always keep arriving, but during the down times throughout the day and night, it is a great place to relax and enjoy a leisurely meal.
The highlights of the shop have to be the menu and the store hours. While this shop does not offer a full English menu, it does have a menu that has pictures of each item they serve with a basic English description underneath. The pictures are large and detailed, which makes choosing your meal easy and convenient if you are not fluent in Japanese.
Their menu is simple, but very impressive in its range of flavors. The most popular ramen is Jyukuse Kohmen, which is a delicious and creamy broth made from stewed pig's bone and soy sauce. The toppings include green onions, a soft boiled egg, seaweed, a piece of pork, and a select few other items that really add to the incredible taste of this comforting dish. Their second most popular dish is Tantan-men, which is made by combining the Kohmen soup and sesame paste. The dish is bright and colorful with what looks like red polka dots scattered over the top of this Ramen.
They also offer another kind of sesame ramen, where they mix the Kohmen soup with black sesame paste. This ramen has an equally unique and appealing appearance with the soup being mostly black. Kohmen offers dip style ramen as well and a few other interesting, yet still flavorful dishes.
As for opening hours, Kohmen Ramen is open Monday through Thursday from 11:00 to 7:00 and on Friday through Saturday from 11:00 to 8:00. On Sunday and on national holidays Kohmen is open 11:00 to 6:00. After a night out, I ended up there well into the wee hours of the morning and it was still just as crowded as it was when I have visited during the day. You'll find all types of people there from businessmen and couples, to individuals and groups of friend no matter what time of day it is, which makes this shop really full of energy and never boring.
With so many Ramen restaurants to choose from, Kohmen Ramen stands out as a great shop to visit if you find yourself near the Roppongi area. Between their late night hours and various styles of Ramen, this shop offers something to anyone looking to fill their ramen craving no matter what time of day!