Perfect place to pig out on pork stock ramen is waiting for noodle fans in Asakusa.
There’s a special, heart-piercing sadness that comes when you finish off a bowl of ramen. Maybe it’s because the broth obscures the noodles, making the end of the meal a sudden shock. Or maybe it’s just because ramen is so wonderful that running out of it will always be a traumatic experience.
So it was with great joy that we discovered that there’s an all-you-can-eat ramen joint in Asakusa, one of the most popular sightseeing areas of downtown Tokyo. And not only is it an all-you-can-eat ramen restaurant, it’s an all-you-can-eat ramen buffet!
The restaurant is called Buta, which is also the Japanese word for “pig” or “pork.” The name is a reference to Buta’s specializing in tonkotsu (pork stock) ramen, but before you get your broth or noodles, there’s a buffet line of toppings and seasonings where you can grab as much cha shu pork, green onions, stewed eggs, or other ramen fixings as you want, putting them into small dishes.
Once you’ve got your toppings ready, take a seat and ask for your first serving of noodles and broth (you can even choose between firm, soft, or regular texture noodles).
Then all that’s left to do is add your toppings to the bowl and dig in!
Despite the “all-you-can-eat” aspect being Buta’s biggest claim to fame, the restaurant’s broth is flavorful and extremely satisfying. We quickly polished off our first bowl, then went back to the buffet line for more toppings and asked for another helping of noodles and broth.
▼ For our second bowl, we decided to load up on dried seaweed and green onions.
As if all this wasn’t enough to draw customers in, the buffet also includes rice, salad, and dessert options, plus unlimited refills of juice.
▼ Since there was even spicy tofu…
▼ …we decided to make ourselves a spicy tofu rice bowl!
The cost for 30 minutes in this all-you-can-eat ramen paradise is 1,058 yen (US$9.50), and considering many restaurants charge that much for a single bowl of topping-heavy ramen, Buta is a great place to pig out on Japan’s favorite noodle-based comfort food.
Ramen Buffet Buta / 拉麺ビュッフェBUTA
Address: Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Asakusa 2-11-7, Moriguchi Building 1st floor
Open 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. (weekdays), 11 a.m.-2 a.m. (weekends, holidays)
[ Read in Japanese ]
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he firmly believes tonkotsu ramen is the best ramen.
[ Read in Japanese ]