Won-Ton Ramen From Hayashimaru

I've been living in Koenji, Tokyo for over 9 years but I've never been any single ramen place around my house.
In 2-3 minutes from my apartment, at least there're 5 places.

Lately, I started craving ramen, especially Koenji area before I move to another place.
I asked a hair stylist in Koenji and she suggested a couple of places nearby.
"Tsuke Men"* is something I would stay away from so I picked one of the shops she had mentioned and  decided to go on a "Ramen Quest" after getting my hair done.

*「つけ麺」 is literally "dipping noodle" and noodle and the soup are served separately. I don't like it personally as the soup tends to be really thick, 

The ramen I wanted was "simple and not too many toppings," and the place I chose is called, "Hayashimaru (はやしまる)" which is about 5 minutes from JR Koenji station North exit.

She told me how to get there from the beauty shop, however, even thou the explanation was clear, I almost missed the place!

It's located on a little street which you won't pay attention unless you're looking for the shop.
Besides, there's no sign on the main street...

The appearance of the shop was chic-retro with the almost-black brown wooden wall, little square light sticking out, paper lantern hanging, and with the wooden board with a cute ramen drawing.
It's blended well in to the atmosphere around.
Once I opened the sliding door, nice flavor of the broth came out.

It was a little place and there's a long L-shaped counter table with approximately 10 chairs, no table was set inside.
The counter was surrounding the kitchen so you can see how they prepare your bowl. (It was neat!)

A tiny menu was in front of me and I saw some varieties of noodles and also toppings.
Apparently, they're famous for "Tsuke Men" (as I saw on the wooden board in front of the shop).

They have several won-tons like meat, shrimp, and mixed and also you can do "to go" for the won-ton. --- It was written on the other side of this menu and alcohol beverage is available.

I chose "Won-Ton Ramen" which is one of their famous plates, and there're 2 types of soup: salt based and soy sauce based. I went with salt as it's my favorite soup.

Once I ordered, I paid in advance. 
After about 10 minutes, a bowl was served.
Yay, my Won-Ton Ramen with salt based soup :-)
Thick noodle was soaked in transparent yellow soup.

Toppings were;
> Seaweed
> 2 slices of char siu (Chinese-style barbecued pork)
> Mianma (little slices of seasoned bamboo shoots)
> Sliced Naganegi onions (Japanese leek)
> 5 pcs of Won-Tons

I tried the soup first with spoon and it was my favorite taste but a little bit salty to me.
The broth was clear and not too greasy and had some sort of fish flavor.  I myself didn't smell or taste pork here.

The noodle is homemade and it was thick. The diameter was about 2mm (about 0.07 inch).
The texture was chewy like fresh pasta.

Seaweed and mianma were nothing special (in a good way).

Char siu was a little bit different what I was hoping.
It was hard and kind of dried slices. My favorite char siu is so soft that hard to pick it up without tearing it apart, plus melts once you put in your mouth.
As it didn't have much flavor, I felt as if I had been battling with unseasoned pork stake...

Here comes won-tons.
The won-ton's meat part was about the same size of Chupa-Chups but flattened for a bit, so it was a kind of ellipsoid ball (if ever exists).
The meat was really juicy and well seasoned. I didn't sense the stinky port flavor at all.

The skin was like an eggshell; so smooth and slippy that I had hard time picking it up.
Won-ton had extra skin and it looked like a white dress with a lot of ruffles and gathers.
It was my first time to try such a elegant looking won-ton with flavorous filling.

When all the bowls were served to the customers, they started preparing more won-tons by hand in the kitchen. 
It was extremely high-speed and precise procedure leaving enough skin after wrapping the meat on the center. Size of the skin seemed about 10 x 10cm (4 x 4 inch).

Some points I thought of were;
> The place was quiet and I didn't feel awkward to go in and sit by myself.
> I'd ask them to use less noodle next time.

Hayashimaru (はやしまる) 
2-22-11 Koenji-Kita, Suginami-ku, Tokyo

Closed on Wednesdays and 2nd and 3rd Tuesdays.

Business hour:
Monday to Saturday: 11:30~4:00pm, 5:30pm~8:30pm
Sunday and holiday: 11:30~9:00pm
*It's closed when the soup has run out.

Non-smoking only / 禁煙のみ

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