After hearing so much about HAKUEI’s well-reviewed ramen shop, “Ginza Hakuei”, we could no longer hold our cravings and finally decided to try it out for ourselves! So let’s see how well it translates from being a top-notch visual kei musician and performer to managing a ramen shop.

Welcome to Ginza Hakuei.

Nestled in the Ginza neighborhood, the ramen restaurant owned by HAKUEI sits—almost unassumingly—in the basement floor of a relatively plain building.

The entryway reveals a little more of the true nature, and descending the narrow staircase leads you to the recently renovated, luxury space below! Of course, during the current coronavirus situation, the shop is taking measures to reduce potential transmission between customers by providing alcohol hand spray, mask storage packets, and clear plastic partitions between seats.

A luxurious feel once you entered the restaurant.

In true HAKUEI style, the chic, modern interior gives off a sophisticated, elegant atmosphere in which to enjoy the luxurious noodles. The limited seating also adds a sense of exclusiveness.

Ginza Hakuei serves Edo (Tokyo) style tsukemen with thick, chewy noodles and a rich shijimi clam and chicken soup. The chef who created the recipe is trained in classic culinary techniques and previously worked in an Italian restaurant, which brings a refined touch to a staple of Japanese cuisine.

Tsukemen is a noodle dish in the same vein as ramen. In contrast, rather than the noodles and toppings being served in piping hot broth, you dip cold noodles into a concentrated, flavor-intense soup. While they also serve “regular” ramen, their specialty is tsukemen, and it would have been a mistake not to!

To start with, after purchasing your ticket and selecting your seat from a machine (English menu is available), a small portion of soup is served as an appetizer while you wait for your meal to be prepared. The aroma and flavor—even in such a small portion—were incredible!

Once you’ve finished the amuse-bouche, the main event is served, taking tsukemen from ordinary to gourmet. The delicious whole-wheat noodles are topped with three different kinds of meat: roast pork, duck, and wagyu beef, adding another layer to the already luxury experience. Finished with a shijimi cream, a fresh green leaf, delicately sliced pink radish, and a lime wedge, the bowls are incredibly aesthetically pleasing.

Just look at our two servings of tsukemen!

Each element of the dish is delicious by itself, but together they sing in harmony. After first trying the soup and noodles, adding a sprinkle of freshly squeezed lime juice adds a bright note to the rich yet light soup.

Once you’re finished, if you still have space, you can top up any remaining soup with a dashi broth to really make the most of every last drop.

Altogether, it was an exquisite experience from start to finish, it was almost difficult to eat slowly in order to fully appreciate everything. You can really see why HAKUEI is proud to attach his name to the shop—it’s a one-of-a-kind experience that will leave you wanting more.

Ginza Hakuei

  • Address: 4 Chome-10-1 Ginza,
    Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0061 (Map)
  • Opening hours: 11:30-17:00
  • Last order: 30 minutes before closing time
  • Seats: Around 10 seats
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