name: t’s tantan (t’s たんたん)
type: ramen restaurant
ecute keiyo street
1st floor, jr tokyo station
1-9-1 marunouchi, chiyoda-ku, tokyo 100-0005
address in japanese:
nearest station: jr tokyo station [inside the station]
(tokaido line jc01 / yokosuka line/sobu line (rapid) jo19 / keiyo line je01 / yamanote line jy01 / utsunomiya line and takasaki line ju01 / keihin-tohoku line jk26)
opening hours: 7.00 – 23.00 (last order 22.30)
telephone: 03 3218 8040
website: http://www.nre.co.jp/shop/tabid/223/stoid/454/brnid/12/Default.aspx#dnn_TabTopPane [in japanese]
english menu: yes
english speaking staff: yes-ish
how vegan?: all vegan
card accepted?: yes
[correct as of 9th october 2018]
it would be a crime not to mention this ramen restaurant as this is one of my favourite places in tokyo.
t’s tantan is a ramen restaurant run by t’s restaurant, a vegan restaurant in jiyugaoka, meguro-ku.
there are 2 other branches of t’s tantan in ueno, tokyo and sendai, miyagi prefecture, north east japan.
as i woke up quite early in the morning due to jet lag, i had ramen for breakfast.
(yes, ramen for breakfast or ‘asa ramen (morning ramen)’ is a thing in many places/cities in japan and many ramen restaurants open quite early and they have breakfast menu)
t’s tantan is also the case, they provide the limited breakfast menu from 7.00 until 10.00.
you may find the menu here and here.
they have the japanese-english bilingual menu and the staff speak some english.
the menu has clear pictures as well, so you can simply show what you want to eat without speaking japanese.
i did speak japanese at first but then the staff switched to english for some reason, oh well.
i ordered ‘shouyu (soy sauce) ramen’ (醤油らーめん) ¥680 (£4.53 / £1 = ¥150) and ‘purple juice (grape, veggies)’ (紫野菜とぶどうミックスジュース) ¥200 (£1.33).
the total was ¥880 (£5.87), mega cheap!
it seems to be in the typical price range of a ramen restaurant in tokyo, but i feel it was very reasonable compared to ones in london.
if they would have a branch in london, they could easily double or even triple their price.
t’s tantan’s signature dish is ‘tantan noodles’.
‘tantan’ (担担 or 担々 in japanese) or ‘dandan’ (in chinese) means a carrying pole which was used to sell noodles on the street in china.
dandan noodles were originally served without soup, as vendors did not carry broth but sesame paste and chilli oil.
‘dandan’ was devoiced hence ‘tantan’ in japanese.
a very famous chinese-born japanese chef chen kenmin (he passed away before i was born so i do not know how influential he was in chinese cuisine in japan) made the dish with soup and it is now quite a popular type of ramen in japan.
tantan ramen is a good choice if you want something spicy and creamy.
shouyu ramen is lighter and not spicy at all. it is well-balanced.
shouyu ramen was served with fried soy meat ‘karaage’ (唐揚げ), bamboo shoots ‘menma’ (メンマ), bean sprouts (もやし), and spring onion (ねぎ).
you can ask them to omit some of the toppings, like no spring onion option.
it came with a bottle of ground white pepper (白コショウ) so you can change the flavour as you wish.
mind you, the soup was piping hot and people in the restaurant were slurping noodles.
i don’t slurp noodles as i don’t like making that noise.
the soup was slightly oily but not too heavy, it was really hot until i finished the dish.
i’m not a fan of mock meat in general but their karaage was quite good.
if you are lucky enough like i was, you can find udon noodles! yay!
(they do serve udon noodles as well, and cook both ramen and udon noodles in the same pan apparently)
purple juice was good as well but you can have complimentary water anyway.
speaking of the location, the restaurant is located inside jr tokyo station, near yaesu minamiguchi exit (八重洲南口).
i had to ask the direction at an information desk as the location is a bit complicated.
you may need to either make a train journey and pop in to the restaurant on the way or get an entrance ticket (入場券) which can be purchased at any ticket machine areas at the station (cash only).
an entrance ticket, which is valid for 2 hours, costs ¥140 (£93p) for adults (12 years old and older) and half price for children.
it might be cheaper if you make a train journey by using an ic card such as suica which costs ¥133 (89p).
t’s tantan is on the edge of the ‘ecute keiyo street’ so better to ask before you get lost in the station.
(click to expand, in a new tab)
i did ask the location, in english, for the sake of this post to review how well japanese people speak english.
a guide at the desk spoke okay english and she kindly highlighted the direction on the map.
it was quite useful to have this map as there is another vegan place to visit.
after you eat, pay at the till.
they leave the bill on my table but i forgot to bring it.
2 members of staff literally ran to my table to grab it and came to the till. japanese hospitality!
they accept card payment as well as ic card (e.g. suica and pasmo) payment.
next to the till, they sell instant ramen cups, soy meat and curry.
good for gifts and hotel snacks.
t’s tantan is a worth visiting vegan ramen restaurant without spending a lot!
here is the list of ‘go vegan in tokyo, japan’