Located at the northern edge of Haneda's lovable, Edo-inspired traditional town recreation that sits pompously overlooking the international departure lounge, Setagaya Ramen (らーめん せたが屋) represents the last chance for frequent flyers to check into a ramen joint before the departure gates beckon.
The group behind this outfit is originally known for trading under 2 brands at 1 shop, serving up separate kinds of ramen to cater to lunchtime/dinner crowds at their original Nozawa branch, since back in 2000. With shio/salt ramen for the lunch crowd under the Hirugao brand and shoyou gyoukai/fish stock ramen filling the night time slot as Setagaya, remarkably both variants were a success and now operate as different chains across Japan. This Haneda branch of Setagaya joined the fray in 2010.
Setagaya Ramen should also come as no stranger to long-haul travellers – the owner/original chef, Tsukasa Maejima, even opened up a New York branch back in 2007.
The centrepiece offering is the eponymous 'Setagaya ramen' (¥1,080), a rich shoyu, or soy sauce, based soup combining fish and meat ingredients, and their medium-thickness curly ramen noodles. Toppings are generous and include soft-boiled egg, tender pork charsiu and aosa seaweed from Kochi's Shimanto River, turning this bowl of noodles into the perfect treat.
Futher down the menu you'll see the tsukemen (dipping noodles) version (¥1,1130), alongside more basic ramen/tsukemen options (¥830/¥880). They also recommend the tori-shio ramen (¥880), or chicken salt ramen, based on Setagaya ramen using a fish soup stock. The menu choice should appeal to all and they offer a range of sides and drinks, with gyouza and draft beer often a prerequisite in my books.
Being an airport location, be assured there is extra space for stowing suitcases and what-not, so you can focus on the ramen noodles in peace and comfort. Counter (8) and table seating (12) providing ample seating depending on the size of your group or how much time you have before the departure gates close.