Tsubame-Sanjo type ramen is one of Niigata's four major types of ramen. One of the most famous of these long-established restaurants is Chuka Tei, located in Saiuraikan, Sanjo.
This shop is said to be as famous as Hangzhou Restaurant, which is also famous among Tsubame Sanjo-style ramen shops. Although the appearance of the restaurant gives absolutely no impression of it, it is recommended by an acquaintance as "the orthodox Tsubame-Sanjo type of ramen restaurant!" recommended by an acquaintance. It was 24 December, Christmas Eve, around 18:00. I never thought I would greet Christmas Eve alone in a ramen restaurant... No one was around at that time except me.
The restaurant has a counter and several tables. There is one seat behind the cash register that looks like a tatami room. As I was alone, I sat at the counter and looked up at the menu.
Mm. I didn't really know which one to order, so I ordered the rightmost one, Chinese noodles for 650 yen. 'What oil do you want? Large oil? Medium oil?" I was asked, "What kind of oil do you want? I was a little puzzled. A few minutes later, the Chinese noodles I had been waiting for arrived.
Oh! You can't see anything with the back oil. You can't see the noodles at all, nor the toppings such as pork and bamboo shoots!
Incidentally, back oil was added to ramen in the Tsubame-Sanjo area to 'prevent it from getting cold' when delivering it to factory workers. Thick noodles were also used to 'prevent stretching'. The strong soy sauce flavour is said to be to "replenish salt" for the manual labourers. The current style was born out of the region's unique history.
This is what you see when you scrape the lid off the back oil. It's a simple ramen with chashu pork, bamboo shoots and these thick noodles. I found out later that you can top it with onions for free. I didn't know that...
The soup has a fluffy aroma of dried sardines. And a strong taste of soy sauce! A little sour, but that's the Tsubame-Sanjo-style! It has a feeling of "this is the Tsubame-Sanjo-style! Compared to its appearance with a lot of back oil, the soup has a refreshing impression.
The noodles are so soft and juicy. And the well-seasoned bamboo shoots are indescribably well-balanced! It was a bowl of soup that made me feel the history of the Tsubame-Sanjo area.
On the way to the restaurant, I came idly dry with a soup with a strong soy sauce taste... What? No cold water? I looked around the restaurant and found it was self-service. We recommend that you go and get it before your ramen arrives.
A long-established restaurant that you should try at least once if you are talking about Tsubame-Sanjo-style ramen. We recommend this restaurant when you stop by Sanjo.
- Naka-tei：1-14-21 Nishiritate, Sanjo City, Niigata Pref.
- [Weekdays] 11:30-14:30 17:00-21:00
- [Sun/Ju] 11:30-14:30 17:00-20:00