What to Eat in Shinjuku Tokyo? (Part 1)
For food lovers hunting for good food around Tokyo, I’m writing a series of the food we tried (or almost tried) around Ginza, Harajuku, Shibuya and Shinjuku. Look out for our honest reviews. :P First it was “What to Eat in Ginza“, then “What to Eat in Harajuku and Shibuya?“, and now what to eat in Shinjuku?
Fuunji, Ramen and Tsukemen
Fuunji (風雲児) is 2-mins walk from our airbnb at Shinjuku and approx 10-mins walk from Shinjuku station. The owner of the airbnb highly recommended us to try the Ramen or Tsukemen here. It’s not the usual tonkotsu (pork) broth I’m familiar with but chicken and fish broth. Anyway, the owner suggested we go for early lunch or early dinner to avoid the snaking long queue. However, by the time we reached our airbnb and walked over to Fuunji, it was their peak hour.
We couldn’t believe our blessings when we finally found the shop hidden in a small road.There were probably only 5 to 7 people lining in front of the shop. Is that considered long for the owner? Hoho. As we were about to join the short queue, we whipped our heads to the other direction and saw another 7 to 9 people extending the queue on the other side of the road. We should have known better after our queuing experience at Garaku Curry (Sapporo). The short queue was too good to be true!
Anyway, we decided good food was worth the wait and thus we joined the queue in the cold. We were so excited when we were near the entrance, but lo and behold! When the door was opened for a few patrons to exit, we saw another long line inside the shop! See photo below.
Ordering Process: Ramen and Tsukemen
Once we were in the shop, there was a vending machine for us to choose our dishes and make payment. Talk about good hygiene and productivity! Anyway, there are a few options on the machine, as seen in the photo below. Dipping noodle refers to Tsukemen, while the ‘special’ edition means the dish comes with an egg and more meat.
Tsukemen is cold noodle served with its sauce on a separate dish. You then dip the noodle in the sauce before eating. Apparently Tsukemen is their signature, but we didn’t know then and so both of us ordered Ramen instead. :( You can’t blame us, because there also weren’t many people eating Tsukemen. It could be because it was winter/spring while we were there and Tsukemen is more for consumption during hot, summer days.
When they collect the vending machine ticket from you, tell them your desired noodle portion: Namimori is small (~200gm), chuumori is regular or medium (~300gm), omori is large (~400gm). The price is the same regardless of size, but order what you can eat—don’t waste food!
We ordered Special Ramen that cost ¥950 (S$12.00) each because we like ajitama (flavoured egg) and of course we had to try it from a Japan’s ramen shop! Even though I’m more used to tonkotsu based ramen, I found the broth surprisingly delicious. As mentioned, the broth is of chicken and fish.
My hubby and most people like the chewy noodles, but I prefer those softer noodles we have in Singapore. The chewy noodles felt like it was half-cook, like when I didn’t cook my instant noodles long enough.
Anyway, I couldn’t finish my bowl and my hubby had to help me with some. It was quite embarrassing to leave much leftover when the chef is just in front of you! It’s like saying the food is not nice, but I was simply too full.
Oh it’s really fascinating to observe the kitchen at work. They each have their own assigned role in a very organised work flow. Together, they function efficiently like a clockwork. The main chef seemed to be in a choreographed dance as he pulled the noodles high up, swirled it around and down into the bowl.
Tip: If you prefer a milder fishy aftertaste, opt for ramen instead of tsukumen.
- 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, 5:00pm – 9:00 pm (Mon-Sat) or while stocks last. Closed Sun & Public Holiday
- 2-14-3, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
- 10 min walk from JR Shinjuku Station, South / Southern Terrace Exit
- Google Map
If you are sick of ramen but still want some hot soup noodles for the cold weather, Shin Udon (慎) is the place to visit. About 10 minutes walk from Shinjuku station, it’s very near to the equally popular Fuunji ramen restaurant. This restaurant is thus also near to our airbnb at Shinjuku and highly recommended by the owner. To avoid the insane crowd, try to go during early lunch or early dinner.
The buckwheat udon is made to order and cooked into either a cold or a hot dish — cold zaru udon served dry, and warm kake udon served in a hot broth. The udon dish is topped with ingredients such as tempura, beef, egg and seaweed. Order from the mildly translated pictorial menu and catch the chefs in action while you sit at the cramp counter space. Budget about ¥1,300 (S$16.40) per person.
Happy chewing on the thick cut udon and enjoy the simple but umami dish!
- 11:00 am – 11:00 pm (L.O 10:00 pm or while stocks last. Irregular closing days.)
- 2 Chome-20-16 Yoyogi, Shibuya, Tokyo 151-0053, Japan
- 10 mins walk from JR Shinjuku Station, South / Southern Terrace Exit
- Google Map
I’ll be sharing more dining options around Shinjuku in Part 2! Also, more on the places to hang out in Shinjuku in my subsequent posts!
Do you have other recommendations of what to eat in Shinjuku? Tell us below or on our Facebook Page or Instagram. Moreover, bookmark this page > Overview Itinerary: Hokkaido and Tokyo (Winter/Spring 2016).