Here are the six bowls of tsukemen from the first week of the festival, in the order I would rank them. Enjoy!
麺屋あっ晴れ (Menya Appare) is a gritty, intense tonkotsu gyokai. The quail eggs are a nice touch. This bowl was worthy of the long line. Over an hour at times.
稲葉 (Inaba) is some of the thickest tori paitan I’ve had. It is almost like chicken gravy. The perfect bowl to balance out the rest of the menu at the Grand Tsukemen Fest.
吉田商店 (Yoshida Shoten) is a thinner tori paitan than Inaba. The extra-option-topping, duck chashu, should be ordered. I like all the extras going on here. Chicken meatballs, yuzu peel, and some spinach. Solid!
麺や而今 (Jikon) throws as much in the soup as they can; chicken, pork, beef, and seafood. The noodles, made with roasted wheat germ, were my favorite this week.
毘侍家 (Bija) from Kyushu stays as true to bowl from Kurume, in the southern island of Japan, can be if it had to be a bowl of tsukemen. You won’t find much tsukemen culture in Kyushu. I longed for a kaedama of nice firm, thin noodles to dump in this soup.
風來堂 (Furaido) brings Sapporo miso to town. The chashu is fantastic, made by simmering pork cheek in only high quality soy sauce not once, but twice. The rest of the bowl, though, was kind of weak.
Lines can get long for the top shops, best to get here with time to spare!