A new ramen place has come to Berlin! A city that is rather spoiled when it comes to this Japanese noodle soup thanks to Cocolo, who’s been serving delicious ramen since I don’t even know when (at least 2006). Will this new contester, who comes directly from the heart of Germany’s Japanese community, Düsseldorf, be able to win hearts, maybe even dethrone the favorite?
Takumi Nine took over the space of Hanage, which served okonomiyaki and was only open for about a year. Good for Takumi, because the best thing about Hanage was their great, utterly Japanese interior with a small but efficient open kitchen and light wooden furniture that cleverly makes the most of the space without it feeling cramped. The name Takumi stems from its mother restaurant on the famous Japanese street, Immermannstraße in Düsseldorf (I have no idea why Düsseldorf is such a center of Japanese culture, but it is! Don’t miss on the many restaurants, grocery stores and ceramic shops when you’re there). Takumi has been attracting lines of people waiting to eat soup since 2007, and after opening a second branch in Munich, Berlin seems to just be the logical next step.
Okay, now to the soup. The menu is quite big and has eleven different bowls of ramen and home made broth. Their ramen is Sapporo style, Hokkaido’s capital which is famous for its rich miso broth that keeps you warm in the harsh, northern Japanese winters.
I chose one of the two vegetarian bowls, the spicy vegetable tempura for 14,80 Euro (their prices are above average, not unjustified, but definitely uncommon in Berlin, with this tempura option being the most expensive). I missed the two chili peppers marking this dish in the menu, so I was a bit surprised about how spicy it was, but since I was able to handle it, most customers will probably be able to enjoy it as well. Those loving the real spice should add chili. The broth is wholesome and yummy, the noodles fresh and tasty since they use whole grain wheat, and the toppings delicious and plenty. I really liked it! And I’d definitely eat here again. However, I did not get goosebumps like when slurping my broth at Cocolo’s. Still, it’s a decent, belly-filling, rainy-day-mood-enhancer and thus totally worth a visit. Especially when Cocolo is once again super crowded or you’re looking for a little variety in your ramen-relationship.