OWL Magazine Korea

Tokyo Shinjuku, Broth-less Bibim Ramen “Abura Soba”

Ramen stands out as one of Japan’s representative dishes, offering a diverse range to explore. When you think of ramen, the image of noodles in rich broth may come to mind. However, similar to Korea’s Bibimmyeon, there’s a type of ramen in Japan without broth. Especially in recent times, this broth-less ramen has gained popularity in Tokyo.

“Oil-Mixed Ramen, Abura Soba”

Deviating from traditional ramen with its absence of broth, Abura Soba, directly translated as “Oil Noodles,” features noodles mixed with oil instead. The dish doesn’t have a traditional soup; instead, oil and seasoning take center stage. While it doesn’t drown in excessive oil, there’s a slight coating beneath the noodles, creating a dish where noodles are tossed in oil and seasoning.

“Finding Abura Soba in Tokyo Shinjuku”

Abura Soba can be found in various places, including Shinjuku, a major area in Tokyo. It’s available west of Shinjuku Station, and you can find Abura Soba restaurants not only in this area but also in different locations. The place we visited this time was one of the spots in Shinjuku.

“Ramen with Two Sauce Options”

Abura Soba offers two types of ramen based on sauces. One is seasoned with a soy sauce base, while the other features a spicy seasoning. Personally, I was in the mood for something spicy, so I chose the ramen with a spicy seasoning base over the soy sauce option.

After taking our seats and waiting, our dishes arrived. A unique aspect is that all the toppings are placed on top of the noodles, while the sauce is concealed underneath. Slowly mixing the noodles, the harmonious blend with the seasoning became evident. The taste was quite enjoyable, especially considering my fondness for noodle dishes; every strand of noodle carried its own flavor.

However, it’s worth noting that many Japanese restaurants tend to lean towards saltiness, and this was slightly overwhelming. A bit less saltiness would have made it even more enjoyable.

“Cozy-Sized Restaurant”

Most restaurants in Japan tend to be on the smaller side. Abura Soba was no exception, featuring a cozy setting with a central kitchen and bar-style seating arranged in a typical Japanese “ㄷ” shape. The ambiance exuded a distinct Japanese local vibe, making it a great place to visit if you want to experience a unique ramen dish.

“Abura Soba in Tokyo Shinjuku”

  • Address: 1-13-6 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0023, Japan
  • Phone: +81 3-3340-4411
  • Operating Hours: 11:00 AM – 4:00 AM
  • Website: tokyo-aburasoba.com