Shinpuku Saikan Main Shop

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    Shinpuku Saikan Main Shop

    Roots of Kyoto ramen noodles in “black” soup

    Kyoto is famous as a “battle field” of ramen noodles.  A number of ramen restaurants are undergoing severe competition every day.  Amongst them all, there are two extremely famous ones at the Shiokoji and Takakura intersection, in the area called Takabashi.  One is the Shinpuku Saikan main shop, which opened in 1938 and is known as the roots of Kyoto-style ramen.  Fifteen years after Shinpuku Saikan, another restaurant opened just next door named Asahi Shokudo, which was renamed Honke Daiichi Asahi sometime later.  Both serve ramen noodles in a soy-sauce-based soup but in very different styles, and they have been competing with each ever since as friendly rivals.  There are many famous ramen restaurants all around Japan, such as Masutani in the Sakyo ward of Kyoto and Tenka Ippin, a nationwide chain ramen restaurant, which were influenced by Shinpuku Saikan and Daiichi Asahi.  Kyoto-style ramen noodles are regarded as having a certain status.  Hence, Takabashi where Sinpuku Saikan and Daiichi Asahi are located is the mecca of ramen in Kyoto.  Every morning at 7:30, eager customers have already formed a queue waiting for Sinpuku Saikan to open.  First time diners will be surprised by the dark color of their soup.  After simmering chicken and pork bones thoroughly, their secret special rich sauce made from Kyoto-made soy sauce is added.  Though it looks very strong, the taste is surprisingly light.  Straight noodles, slices of homemade roast pork, plenty of chopped green onions and the soup create a perfect match.  Besides ramen, their fried rice is also very popular.  As it is seasoned with the sauce used for the noodles, the rice also has a blackish color but the first taste will be another surprise due to its tasty flavor.  Many regular fans eat ramen noodles at the restaurant and takeaway the fried rice.

    Translation to English by AD BRAIN INC. Introduced in “Kyoto Machikado Gourmet” magazine, Fujin-gaho, August issue, 2012.


    Name Shinpuku Saikan Main Shop
    Address 569 Higashi Shiokoji Mukaihata-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
    Tel 075-371-7648
    Hours 7:30-22:00
    Closed Iregularry on Wed.
    URL http://www.shinpuku.net/
    Recommended Their appetizer meat dish is perfect company with beer.