I don't even bother going into ramen shops. The vegetarian in the know can find a decent meal in an izakaya, soba shop, sushi restaurant, and even yakitori (grilled chicken) place, but generally, ramen in a non-vegetarian establishment is a lost cause.
How exciting is it, then, that there is now an all vegan ramen shop in Tokyo station! Now vegetarians and vegans in transit can enjoy hot steamy bowls of delicious greasy noodles!
On a rare Monday off, I made my way over to Tokyo station, miraculously managed to not get lost on the way to the shop, and ordered up a lunch special. I opted for the white ramen (on the advice of a friend I requested it less spicy), which comes topped with beansprouts. The lunch special offers the choice between mock meat karaage or a mini curry, and I opted for the latter. While the ramen didn't come close to challenging my current favourite (Cafe Proverbs 15:17 in Kyoto) for the top spot, it was yummy and filling. I would have loved a bigger serving of vegetables in exchange for some noodle volume, but T's Tan Tan's proportions are true to the classic ramen form, with veggies acting as a topping to a big serving of noodles. It was a treat to get to eat Japanese curry for a change, as Japanese curry is usually another fight not worth fighting (as it will nearly always contain a meat base). I'm a big fan of Indian curry but also enjoyed the sweet, smoother Japanese version.
For dessert, I had a little serving of sweet and simple tofu pudding to finish off my meal.
T's Tan Tan is an interesting place cause the target market is not vegans or vegetarians, but rather health conscious commuters and business people. The meals are definitely designed with a mainstream Japanese taste in mind (I doubt you'll be finding any genmai here anytime soon). If you want to get a stress free taste of what regular Japanese people eat on the go, this is a great place to try!
Menu: Japanese only, with photos
おすすめ / recommendation: I haven't tried enough to compare dishes, but the shiro tan tan (白たんたん) was nice. Apparently quite spicy as is, can be ordered "plain" for less spice.
good points: convenient location if you are passing through or work by Tokyo station, stress free (all vegan), authentic ramen taste!
bad points: tricky to find
how to get there: T's is inside Tokyo station, in a shopping/ restaurant area called Keiyo street. Check a map in the station, or ask for Keiyo street at one of the information kiosks. Look for Uniqlo once you've found Keiyo street. If you face Uniqlo, you will see a New Days combini on the left, and beside that, an information booth on the corner. Walk towards the information booth, and turn to the right. Walk past an omiyage (souvenir) shop, and you will find T's Tan Tan next door.
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