As of September 2023, there are 44 Ramen Jiro restaurants in Japan (see here for the latest number), and Ramen Jiro Yokohama Kannai Branch is known as the first restaurant to offer soup-less ramen. It was opened in 2004 by the owner, who had trained at the Mita Head Shop and Tsurumi branches (closed), and is now famous as a popular restaurant that consistently ranks high among the 44 Jiro family restaurants nationwide.
What does the original Jiro-kei Shirunashi developed by such a famous restaurant taste like? Wanting to give it a try, I visited the restaurant one weekday after noon. I was prepared for a long line and a reasonable wait, but…
Ramen Jiro Yokohama Kannai Branch is a restaurant that seems to be friendly to Jiro Ramen beginners…
I arrived at Ramen Jiro Yokohama Kannai around 1:15 p.m., late in the lunch hour, and contrary to my initial expectation, there were only five customers waiting to enter the restaurant. I was so excited, “Oh, lucky me! I was so excited. I was prepared to wait for more than an hour, just like at the Kanda Jimbocho Branch. But on this day, the wait was only 5 minutes from the time I got to the end of the line to the time I entered the store! I thanked God that it was a good day.
Enter the restaurant after purchasing a meal ticket from the ticket vending machine on the left side of the entrance. The seating space is quite cramped, with only 12 counter seats. It is difficult to pass behind customers who are eating, and even if you carry only one normal-sized business backpack, you will bump into them if you are not careful. So, if possible, it’s a good idea to visit the restaurant empty-handed. If your luggage is the size of a carry-on bag, it will be very difficult to bring anything small into the store.
Now, as I sat at a seat in the back side of the restaurant and observed, it may have been just a coincidence that this was the day, but the turnover of customers was so fast that I have not experienced so much before. I was surprised. Everyone slurped their ramen silently, wiped the table with the provided dish towel as soon as they finished eating, and quickly walked out of the restaurant. Thanks to these people, I was able to enjoy Jiro’s ramen with minimal waiting time, and I am truly grateful for that.
On the other hand, the three young waitresses working in the kitchen were also doing their best. The service and language were soft and friendly, and I did not feel any of the “fear” that is generally associated with Jiro. Perhaps this Ramen Jiro Yokohama Kannai Branch is the perfect place for a newcomer to Jiro-style ramen to make his or her debut. Well, it would be better to learn at least “how to call”, a rule common to all restaurants, before visiting (the call is explained in the article on Ramen Jiro Kyoto Branch)….
The original Jiro-style soup-less ramen at Ramen Jiro Yokohama Kannai Branch. So, how does it taste?
Let me introduce the original Jiro-kei Shirunashi that I ordered at Ramen Jiro Yokohama Kannai Branch. The picture is here…
As this is my Jiro-kei soup-less debut, the call is “as is”. On the front side of the bowl are a total of five pieces of pork chashu (pork), each about 1 cm thick. The back side is topped with vegetables and fried onions, and an egg yolk is placed in the center….
Compared to other Jiro- and Jiro-inspired dishes I have eaten, the amount of vegetables is probably quite small. Perhaps this is why the bowl looks like this when viewed from the side, and the impact at a quick glance is a little weak.
Now, after 30 seconds of thinking about how to eat this soup-less… I decided to have it from chashu (pork) this time. You can already tell from this image, can’t you? The meat is so tender. The tenderness of this pork is by far the best among all the Jiro-style pork I have eaten in the past. The pork loosens up in your mouth, and the flavor of the pork combined with the sauce spreads over your tongue. But it has surprisingly little fat, so you can enjoy it easily…. This is truly “divine pork! I regretted a little that I should have had the “Kobuta Double,” which comes with eight pieces of pork chashu… if I could have had such chashu.
Next, the noodles are pulled out from the side of the bowl, and these are the familiar flat noodles of the Jiro style. The noodles are flat, which is a familiar sight at Jiro-kei restaurants, but they seem to be a little thinner than at other restaurants. The noodles are hard-boiled and crunchy, and the black pepper is sprinkled on top of the noodles, making them spicy and aromatic when slurped. The amount of noodles is 250 grams for a small ramen, which is small for a Jiro-style ramen, but when I actually ate it, it was surprisingly large… In terms of post-meal sensation, I felt that it was more filling than the tsukemen I had at Ramen Jiro Hachioji Yaen Kaido 2.
The sauce, which is mixed with the noodles at the end, is lightly emulsified in color and has a pork flavor, but it also blends well with the soy sauce flavor. It’s the taste of Jiro! But in addition, there is a soft sweetness that I have never experienced in Jiro before… The effect of this sweetness makes the sauce overall feel gentler than Jiro.
I finished my bowl of the original Jiro-kei soup-less soup, invoking ” in the process. The black pepper that is sprinkled by default makes it a little wild, but if you like Jiro-style ramen, you should try it at least once at Ramen Jiro Yokohama Kannai Branch. I really recommend it.
Incidentally, you can also get Jiro without soup at the Shonan Fujisawa and Kameido branches of the owner, who was trained at the Yokohama Kannai Branch. If you happen to drop by the stores, please give it a try.
Ramen Jiro Yokohama Kannai Branch Menu List (prices include tax)
- Small ramen (2 pieces of pork) 830 yen
- Small buta (5 pieces of pork): 980 yen
- Double small buta (8 pieces of pork) 1130 yen
- Green onion 100 yen
- Ajitsuke Tamago (seasoned egg) 100 yen
- Chives and kimuchi 100 yen
- Cheese powder 100 yen
Note: Large ramen is available for 50 yen more than small ramen, and soupless ramen is available for 100 yen more than ramen.
Check the restaurant’s X account (formerly Twitter) and Instagram before visiting! To get to Ramen Jiro Yokohama Kannai Branch, take the Yokohama Municipal Subway Blue Line and get off at Isezaki Chojamachi Station, the nearest station, which is a 3-minute walk away.
I took a quick peek at the restaurant’s social networking site too, but it doesn’t seem to be updated very often at the moment… Well, there were definitely announcements of limited edition toppings, so check the Instagram or old Twitter account before heading to the restaurant to see if you can find any deals! You might be able to get some great deals. If you too are going to the store in the future, you might want to check the store’s social networking accounts before your visit. If you say “that thing” when you call, they will add limited toppings to your ramen.
Now, here are the details of the restaurant. Restaurant data is here…
Ramen Jiro Yokohama Kannai Branch Out of 5.
Address: Omni Building, 6-94-94 Choja-machi, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 231-0033, Japan
Phone number: Not open to the public
Business hours: 11:00-14:30, 17:00-21:00
Parking: No parking lot
Credit card payment: Not accepted (meal ticket system)
It is a 7-minute walk from Kannai Station on the JR Negishi Line.