T’s Tantan is a fully vegan, and yet uncannily popular eatery located in the labyrinth of subterranean tunnels that support Tokyo Station (and environs). It specialises in ramen, but has a few curry options on the menu as well. It’s a bit like a fast food chain with a personal, proprietary touch. It’s fresh and efficient and for good reason very, very popular.
T’s has a detailed English menu that showcases the array of ramen (miso/fermented soybean, shoyu/soy sauce, shirunashi/dry), curries (see below) and “fried soybean meat bowls” (scary, I know!) on offer. Importantly, they also tell you what each contains (in terms of ingredients), so for ramen neophytes like myself, it’s relatively easy to choose one you think you will like. Not that choosing between them is particularly difficult, as everything looks as credible as it is edible.
Inside, T’s is an interesting place with lots of murals on the walls (a lot like the one above), and patrons in the seats. The sound of noodles being slurped surround you – the sound of good food being consumed if ever there was one – and appeared to come from both vegans and non-vegans alike. I’ve ranted about this before, but such is the Japanese fidelity to good quality food that the “vegan” label appears to be more a source of interest than divisiveness. Shame the same can’t be said for… OK, enough! Lah.
The Shoyu Ramen (¥750) was as delicious as it was simple. Ramen, soy sauce (shoyu), some sliced scallion and bean sprouts, a large piece of nori (seaweed) and a few bits of gluten and bamboo shoot: that’s all you need to make and sell a slurptastic bowl of ramen! It was warming and refreshing at the same time, and rather good value as well.
The Matsaman Curry (¥300 for a small bowl when paired with the ramen above) remained true to its Thai roots, being strong on both spice and lemongrass. It may not look like much, but this was the standout dish for me. It came with a small helping of long grain rice and was very, very tasty.
The Smile Curry (¥900) was a Japanese-style curry that takes its name from the large, crescent-shaped wedge of pumpkin that comes with it. Whilst the curry was very thick and had a pleasant cinnamon flavour, it seemed a little bland after the punchiness of the Matsaman. And that dark brown colour unnerved me a little. And if that wasn’t enough, the vegetables it came with – potato, carrot, onion, green pepper and a cherry tomato – were rather miserly in volume. My advice? Stick to the slurp and the spice and you won’t be disappointed.
T’s Tan Tan
1-9-1 Marunouchi, Keiyo Street, Tokyo Station, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Open 07:00-23:00 daily
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