Ramen Trick (鶏喰) first came to my attention when it made the shortlist for Tabelog's Japan Ramen Award 2016. Ranking highest for Kanagawa and only a direct train ride away, Trick instantly stood out from the crowd and it didn't take me long to justify a quick visit.
Their signature dish is the Tori no Shoyu Ramen (soy sauce broth with chicken), also available in a more extravagant 'Zeitaku' version (¥1,000) with all the toppings.
The soup stock here uses a highly unique blend for its kaeshi/tare (the salty reduction that gives ramen that umami kick). Mainly composed of a raw Hishiho soy sauce from Ishikawa and a Marushima soy sauce from Kagawa, an additional variety added is for good measure (made from fish stock and Tamba black soy beans) alongside niboshi sardines, kelp, dried bonito, dried prawn and flying fish – all heated carefully to extract maximum flavour. Alongside the tare, the soup stock uses Shingen chicken from Yamanashi, as well as chicken bones/feet/wings, more kelp and negi.
Noodles are firm but chewy and sourced from Mikawaya Seimen – one of the biggest, most respected noodle producers in the country. Toppings delight with the Zeitaku bowl loaded with slices of succulent roast chicken, beef and pork, as well as a tsukune chicken meatball and a wonton – a definite nod to owner-chef Nishigaki-san's Chinatown past.
Before opening Trick in November 2012, Nishigaki-san trained at culinary school before gaining experience in Italian cooking, then hospitality/retail. He first made a name for himself running a shumai (pork dumpling) shop in Yokohama's Chinatown, an overnight success that gave him the confidence and financial muscle to open up this very ramen shop.
It's Nishigaki-san's shumai experience that influences his ingredient selection—such as opting for Shengen Yamanashi chicken—and his hospitality credentials shines through too, offering hot/cold tea year-round to customers lining up outside his shop. Orders/payments are made directly to staff, another important distinction compared to the industry trend for ticket machines.
Trick is just round the corner from Exit 3 of Yoshinocho on Yokohama's Blue Line subway, and just 3 stops south of Kannai.