Monday, February 20, 2017

金田家 (Kanadaya in Fukuoka)

麺処 金田家

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My 2016 bucket list of ramen, a list you can find here, is sadly undoable by the end of the year. I blame Fukuoka. The prefecture's top ranked spots are all in remote locations, with odd hours, and none of them match their days off. So on a recent road trip, I picked one shop, Kanadaya, the highest ranked shop, to check off the list.

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Actually, they exist overseas in London. Hey, I recognize that car!

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I had very high hopes for this one. It was 2016 that would change my mind about tonkotsu ramen in Kyushu. I'd never, in the eight or so years of Ramen Adventures, had a stellar bowl. Plenty of great ones. Eights and even nines, but never a ten.

I had my first ten at Genki Ippai. I had my second at Kanadaya.

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This was pork perfection. The soup is buttery and smooth, without any funk. Chashu sliced so thin that it would dissolve if it wasn't lovingly placed on the sides of the bowl. Just a touch of the standard green onion and kikurage mushroom.

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The egg was next level.

I'm sorry to say that this shop isn't so convenient. About an hour from any major city, and that is if you take the bullet train. Even longer if you take a wallet-friendly local. But if you want the best, you have to work for it in Kyushu.

Actually, they have a couple branch shops in Koba (here), Hiroshima (here), and central Hakata (here). I love the vibe of the main shop, in the middle of nowhere.

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Map of 1 Chome-4-3 Ōhashi, Yukuhashi-shi, Fukuoka-ken 824-0003

福岡県行橋市大橋1-4-3
Fukuoka-ken, Yukuhashi-shi, Ohashi 1-4-3
Closest station: Yukuhashi

Open 11:00-15:00. 17:00-20:00
Closed Thursdays

Thursday, February 16, 2017

三丁目そば (Sanchome Soba in Okinawa)

三丁目そば

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I'm sure I've complained about travel in the past. Well, I'll do it again.

My weekend gig sends me all over the country. This is a great opportunity to slurp. I took advantage last year, when they sent me to Okinawa in November, to slurp Yanbaru, Stripe, and Kishimoto. Head down early on a Wednesday, spend three days cruising around slurping noodles, and then head back.

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But this time, I had an engagement during the week, so I was only in Naha, the main Okinawa city, for a night. I asked my fellow Awamori drinkers at a food stand near the hotel if there was a good shop, and they said the only one open was Sanchome. This was my only choice for Okinawa's sokisoba.

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Just past Chocolate Milk Street.

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Wow, I forgot how cheap eats are the further south you go. Only 450 yen for the standard bowl.

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I went with the 700 yen version, which included a few more toppings.

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Meh is my review. I've had some great food on Okinawa, so I'm not pulling any punches. Sokisoba is always done with a very light soup, which was almost flavorless in this case. The toppings, the trifecta of Okinawa, weren't the best. Fish cake, pork belly, and rib meat were present, but nowhere near as hearty as hoped.

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See you next year. My 2017 goals include taking full advantage of my working situation. If I get sent to Okinawa, I'll block off a few days for noodles. Okinawa requires time and transportation. While Naha is packed, the best noodles are on the other side of the island.

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Map of 3 Chome-26-1 Kumoji, Naha-shi, Okinawa-ken 900-0015

沖縄県那覇市久茂地3-26-1
Okinawa, Naha-shi, Kumoji 3-26-1
Closest station: The airport?

Monday, February 13, 2017

豚星。(Butaboshi in Hiyoshi )

豚星。

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Butaboshi is very highly ranked. 98.41 on the Ramendb, which is impressive.

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When I arrived, I instantly understood. The Ramendb is heavily weighted by Jiro lovers, and Butaboshi is Jiro-style.

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The only thing thicker than the noodles is the soup. Scratch that, the chunks of pork are thicker still.

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I'm not a fan of this style, and I felt bad for leaving what looked like half the bowl when I left. But, as I know from experience, the human body is not meant to overeat ramen of this caliber.

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Try it for yourself, but only if you are a fan. The location is out of the way.

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Another warning, you will stink after this one. Garlic and rendered pork fat. But some people love that sort of thing.

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Map of 4 Chome-5-20 Kizuki, Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa-ken 211-0025

神奈川県川崎市中原区木月4-5-20
Kanagawa-ken, Kawasaki-shi, Nakahara-ku, Otsuki 4-5-20
Closest station: Hiyoshi

Open 11:00-23:00
Closed Sundays