The quote is from a friend of mine who visited. Suzuran is small, just 11 counter seats. Its decor is finished to a high standard unlike many Ramenyas. Lighting is warm and the room is nicely air conditioned. From this alone it comes across differently from your traditional Ramenya. The pricing too is above average. Still for those who pilgrimage here the quality is exceptional.
In fact, Suzuran began in Shibuya about thirty years. Known for its home made men (noodles) it had a strong following and a fairly ordinary menu. It was when it moved to Ebisu that Suzuran really blossomed. The menu was upgraded significantly and took in new styles. Not haphazardly though, with a keen respect for the new dishes they took on. Gone was Shio Ramen, Miso Ramen. In came Donabe Mabou Men, Kuri Tan Tan Men and others.
The attention to detail at Suzuran is wonderful and presentation is given an appropriate amount of respect, including some dishes with height and bowls reminiscent of a fancy French restaurant. Even on their simplest dish of Chukamen, care was taken to add some crazily tasty powdered scallop and pork, just hidden under the shredded negi. The Kaku Ni Men, where the braised pork belly comes on a side plate, is perhaps their signature dish and you won’t find better Kaku Ni than this. The noodles, home made, are predominantly a Hosomen, which keeps its Hagotai (al-dente texture) perfectly the time it takes to eat it. The soup stock is clear and a mix of the sea and the land. Most of the menu is Shoyu based but their specials offer plenty of off the beaten track choices. The flavours are strong and powerful in all the dishes. Suzuran really offers you something to feast your eyes and taste buds on.
In terms of atmosphere my friends’ quote catches the mood. The place is quiet and church like. There is no “Irashaimase!” screamed out as you walk in. People tend to eat quietly and you rarely see big groups. Weekends and some evenings you may have to order a drink too. If you do and you like Yuzu, the Yuzushu is phenomenal. You might like to add just a splash of water as the Yuzu flavour is very powerful.
If you know Ramen culture in Japan you will immediately feel the difference between this place and the rest. This is a celebration of a staple, that elevates it to a higher level. You can only applaud the owners who took the time to really reconsider what Ramen can be. No need to recommend a dish at this place. They are all wonderful. Unfortunately no photos.