Hiroshima tsukemen and pan-fried yaki-ramen noodles in the drinking district. [日本語]

Shiho’s little place in the drinking district serves up Hiroshima tsukemen and pan-fried yaki-ramen noodles as well as a bunch of teppan dishes which range from the standard to the toe-curling. Choichoi-ya has a very relaxed atmosphere and, especially in the warmer months, has the feel of a street side food stall.

Opening at 8:30pm, Choichoi-ya is definitely a night spot. It suits a variety of needs; a light meal on the way home from work, a bite before heading off for some serious drinking, a place to while away an hour or two nibbling this and that (that’s where the name choi-choi comes from) along with a few drinks and of course for an end of night feed. Open until 3am, the atmosphere can get quite lively around the counter and at the tables out on the street side “terrace” after midnight.

Tsukemen at Choichoi-ya

Hiroshima tsukemen – chilled noodles served with crisp vegetables, slices of char sui pork, a perfectly boiled egg and a spicy dipping sauce – comes in 3 sizes small (one tama of noodles), medium (1.5 tama of noodles) and large (a double two-tama serving of noodles). Even the small portion is quite filling and great value at ¥900. The dipping sauce is, of course, Shiho’s own concoction and something of a trade secret, but we can tell you that it is made with a fish stock base, so while off limits to strict vegetarians, pescatarians can indulge guilt-free if they order without the pork – char-shu nashi kudasai. If you are cutting down on carbs, why not try the ryansai for ¥800 which is basically a big plate of crisp veggies and sliced pork with the spicy dipping sauce.

Yakiramen at Choichoi-ya

Pan-fried yaki-ramen noodles also come in 3 sizes and is a really hearty dish. Yaki-ramen originated in Fukuoka and, although warm, doesn’t have the super hot broth usually associated with ramen noodles that, while tasty, can really bring on a sweat. A mildly spicy dish, the noodles are topped with seafood, vegetables and pork. Unlike standard ramen Shiho also uses a fish-based stock for her yaki-ramen too.

Side dishes include fried chicken, edamame, hiya-yakko cold tofu, and kimchi, and the more adventurous can order from the teppan menu which run from entry level squid legs (geso) to more hardcore pigs ears (buta-mimi) and horumon offal dishes such as beef aorta (shiro-niku).

The drinks menu, while limited, goes perfectly with the food on offer – cold beers, sake, shochu, chuhai and highballs.

Opening hours: 20:30-03:00
Closed: Sundays and national holidays that fall on a weekday
Shiho doesn’t speak much English but she has an English Menu
Cash only
Smoking OK

Address: 1F U Building, 5-25 Nagarekawa-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi


Paul Walsh

Paul arrived in Hiroshima "for a few months" back in 1996. He is the co-founder of and loves running in the mountains.