Awesome ramen & delicious coffee in Tokyo || Japan specialty coffee
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Akasaka is my old stomping ground. Its where I have laid my head for the majority of my stays in Japan. It's a lively suburb that's full of eateries, clubs & pubs. Its a place popular among tourists, though I never seem to see any! They must be hiding in all the stores!
I personally like to hide in two stores. The first being Akasaka ramen. In my opinion, it is the most delicious ramen I have ever tasted, & its cheap. The noodles are bouncy & curly & the bowls are huge! It is open from 11 am to all hours of the morning. Akasaka ramen served me my first true meal when coming to Japan & I am forever grateful for stepping over its humble threshold. The ground level has only enough chairs for 15 customers & the employees are so lovely. I especially enjoy the hospitality of the lovely elderly lady whom usually works the late night/early morning shift.
When ordering your ramen you do so through the vending machine at the front of the store. There is an English menu (as well as other languages) attached to the side so never fear if you can't read Nihongo. Now, where is the kitchen you may ask? It's upstairs! Once your order is placed the server shouts your order to an intercom on the wall. A shout of "HAI" is then heard as the cook upstairs prepares your delicious meal. When your meal is ready, you may hear a small thud & a clunk as a dumbwaiter lowers your piping hot bowl of ramen downstairs. すごい! SUGOI!
The second place I like to hide is MAMETORA COFFEE . It is a tiny coffee house situated one street back from Akasaka ramen. It's easy to miss in the busy alley, so I always look out for the huge blowfish sculpture of the store next door. Now before stepping into this coffee house, I thought that the store I worked at in Brisbane had storage problems, but it has NOTHING on this place. From the outside, it looks inviting, but on the inside, every possible cavity, wall & floor is stuffed full of coffee making supplies & apparatus. The front counter boasts a small roasting machine & next to it there are over 10 different types of unroasted coffee beans to choose from.
I have never purchased any unroasted beans for I did not want to wait for them to mature enough to actually brew. I also think that the whole process might be slightly time-consuming, but nonetheless, I opt for a beautiful brew to have in house. From the menu, I have had many filters as well as their signature chocolate latte float. From what I can tell from the ingredients of this particular cup of jo, I believe they use filter coffee, ice cubes, sweet soft serve ice cream & some roasted coffee beans for decorations.
During my last visit to the store I saw that they sold single use filter kits (¥150-¥190/ea). I was intrigued. I bought a few different blends; the flavour profile charts were very helpful in finding the best brew for my taste. I opted for light & sweet blends over bold & bitter. The instructions were easy to follow & the cup that it brewed was even easier to drink. For an affordable on the go filter coffee I was very satisfied.