Ginza Kagari is located down a lonely, unmarked alley in the Ginza neighborhood and serves an unlikely type of ramen, chicken. Even the sign is somewhat deceiving, as it simply says “Soba”, yet they are more known for their ramen, although they do serve soba buckwheat noodles here. You know if you are in the right spot, if you just happen to see a lot of people in line waiting in front of nothing… The line starts on the main streets, before it takes a right and snakes down the alley. Perhaps an easier way to find it is that it is located almost directly across the street from the Apple Store.
Once inside, you will notice that the restaurant is very, very small. The counter forms three fourths of a square, and only seats eight. You will almost undoubtedly be looking directly at somebody while eating.
The dish that has made them famous if the Tori Paitan, which is a creamy chicken ramen. I ordered the large (¥1050) which comes with three slices of chicken and vegetables. I ordered extra chicken (¥300), a soy soft boiled egg (¥120) and bamboo shoots (¥250).
I was presented with a large bowl of creamy, frothy broth glistening with vibrant colors of green beans, lettuce, and red seaweed. There was a pinkish star shaped item in the bowl, but I am not sure what it is. Underneath the broth is cabbage, which slightly wilts under from the hot broth.
The flavor of the broth is rich and deep. Like the best chicken soup your Jewish grandmother ever made, if she happened to be Japanese. The broth was not overly salty. The seaweed and green beans added a nice crunch, while the lettuce added just a touch of bitterness. The cabbage also provided some sulfuric earthiness to the dish. The eggs were cooked just perfectly, with the yolks slows running out of their nests like slow moving magma.
Before eating at Ginza Kagari, I had never had chicken ramen before. This almost made me a convert as it was lighter than a tonkotsu based soup. I would go out of my way to eat here again when in Tokyo.