In 2017, 点と線 (Ten To Sen) opened its doors in Shimokitazawa, a neighborhood in Japan known as the “young and hip” fashion district west of Tokyo.
Spice Ramen - Ten To Sen's signature item
Unlike traditional ramen, the toppings in the Spice Ramen bowl are rather ornate. The traditional ingredients you find in a ramen bowl such as chashu, a soft boiled egg, radish sprouts, and Japanese leeks were not found in this bowl. Instead, this bowl was decadently topped with deep fried burdock root, wood ear mushrooms, paprika, cashew nuts, lemon, thinly sliced red peppers, and Chrysanthemum flower petals.
This ramen bowl contains plenty of meat. You’ll find thick cut chashu alongside large cuts of deep fried burdock root which gives it the richness you’d find in traditional ramen. But the various spices and ingredients come together to bring complexity, fragrance, and new textures, which cannot be experienced in traditional ramen.
The fried burdock root was spectacular as its outer surface was crunchy and fragrant while the inside was soft and fluffy. The soup was very traditional using a curry base. The spices detected on taste alone were cumin, basil, cilantro, and red pepper. The noodles were curly and of medium thickness, which helped soak up the soup and flavor really well.
So what is this soup curry anyway? Soup curry is a Japanese curry dish that started in Sapporo. It was inspired by the curry from South India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, and from Chinese and Korean medicinal soups. Its defining characteristic is “a thin soup with lots of spices and ingredients cut into big pieces”.
In Japan, it is quite common to see ramen hybrids that have evolved from incorporating other dishes. This Spice Ramen is a great and delicious example of that culinary hybrid.
2-14-5 Kitazawa Setagaya-ku Tokyo-to