During my trip I really wanted to eat at Rokurinsha, the famous tsukemen restaurant located in the underbelly of Tokyo station. Rokurinsha has hand crafter their noodles for their tsukemen, which is highly regarded by the like of Anthony Bourdain and David Chang.
Unfortunately, I did not have the time to go there during my trip. I did notice that they had another branch at the Haneda Airport. Although likely not as good (what airport restaurant is given the logistical problems?), I figured I had a chance to try some of their heralded tsukemen.
Upon arriving at Haneda I looked for Rokurinsha and could not find it. I passed something called Setagaya, and people in line were saying that this was Rokurinsha. Even people had posted pictures saying that this was indeed Rokurinsha. Although uncertain and still skeptical, I decided to take a chance and eat here.
Given their reputations, I opted for the tsukemen.
After a few minutes, out came a bowl of noodles that were mostly cold. There were two sheets of nori, and a medium soft boiled egg. The super thick noodles that Rokurinsha were nowhere to be seen.
A bowl of unattractive soup came for dipping the noodles. The broth was extremely salty, oily and generally unflavorable. The broth was lukewarm at best.
Combining the cold noodles and lukewarm broth made for a completely unsatisfying meal. Unfortunately, my last meal in Tokyo was also my worst, so lasting memories of a great last meal were not meant to be.
After doing a little more digging, the restaurant I actually went to was Setagaya, which is known for their shio ramen during the day, and fish based ramen at night. Given the food that came out of the kitchen during my visit, even one of their signature dishes couldn’t have been wildly successful.
It turns out that Rokurinsha is actually located in the International terminal. I will make it a point to try and eat at the original Rokurinsha on my next visit to avoid any further confusion, time permitting.