Monday, October 24, 2016

麺や 七彩 (Shichisai in Hatchobori)

麺や 七彩 八丁堀店


File this under best-of-the-best. An epic bowl. A masterpiece.


Shichisai was one of my favorite shops back in the day. They were credited with being one of the shops to put mukacho, preservative-free ramen, on the map. Their kitakata-style noodles were made in house and hand massaged before serving them in a niboshi-rich broth. If you've had real kitakata-style ramen before, you would approve of Shichisai's attention to detail.


So how does their second shop, located in Hatchobori on Tokyo's east side make it even better?


They literally make their noodles on the spot.


From rolling the dough, to kneading it, to cutting it, everything is done in front of you.


And it isn't just a gimmick. The vigorous handling means a chewier noodle.


The only downside is the time. It takes around ten minutes for your noodles to be made. I arrived first thing in the morning on a weekday, so no problem. If you were coming during a busy weekend day you might have to wait a very long time. I can't say for sure, please make sure you arrive early if possible.


Schichisai's broth is deep and smoky. Kitakata-style flavors the broth with dried baby sardines and a lighter style of soy sauce. Heavy enough for a huge impact of flavors, but light enough to crush the entire bowl.


Site here.


Map of 2 Chome-13-2 Hatchōbori, Chūō-ku, Tōkyō-to 104-0032

電話番号 03-5566-9355
営業時間 11:00~15:30/17:30~21:00
定休日 火曜日

Thursday, October 20, 2016

友乐达 (Yolota Noodle House in Shanghai)



I'm usually pretty good about keeping up with my backlog of posts, but somehow this one slipped through the cracks! With a few hours layover in Shanghai, I had enough time to meet Michael (site here) for a bowl. Sure, Shanghai has a great number of Japanese ramen shops, but what is something I can't find back home? Shanghai-style noodles?


Not really. This shop is actually Taiwan-style beef noodles. Not that I'm complaining. Shanghai is more known for their dumplings, so I'm happy to slurp at this popular shop.


Very clean, modern, and chic. Yes, this is a shop in one of the city's many new shopping complexes. Yes, I usually avoid this sort of thing. But in an unknown city, with a likely chance of getting lost on the way to a hidden hole-in-the-wall, the fancy department store next to a major station is a good choice.

And now I have a taste for Taiwan, meaning I'll have to make a trip sooner rather than later.


As for these beef noodles, I approve. Solid fare, with a deep, beefy taste to the soup. Very much lacking in the umami department, but that is coming from someone who is invested in that sort of thing.

I would love to hear some of my reader's recommendations for Shanghai. I plan on returning soon for a deeper noodle search.


Site here.

Map of 浦东嘉里城

Go to Longyang Road Station Exit 1. It is in the Kerry Parkside shopping mall.


Monday, October 17, 2016

うえまち (Uemachi in Osaka)

中華そば うえまち


Uemachi isn't as out of the way as many of Osaka's more highly ranked shops, but for someone like me who doesn't live in the Kansai region, it took a while to finally make it.


Actually, with working finishing around 5pm on a Sunday, I could easily change my Shinkansen ticket back to Tokyo to a few hours later, head here for their opening at six, and still make it home before bedtime. For other's I work with, this would be a nightmare; performing for eight hours, then waiting in lines for noodles before the long train back. But if you've followed me recently, you'll know I am obsessed with this list, a 50 best of Japan, and Uemachi comes in at number 30.


A half hour before opening, and there were five people in line. The lure of homemade noodles and a light, preservative-free broth perhaps. I went with the 中華そば, chukasoba, the standard bowl. The other option that looked appealing was the 和え麺, aemen, an all-dashi soup that must be more like a buckwheat soba broth.




The master spent four years at another well known Osaka ramen shops (カドヤ食堂). What he learned there was precision, and everything about Uemachi is precise. The soup is a base of very specific chicken from nearby Nara Prefecture and Berkshire Pork from no-so-nearby Kagoshima. It all come together wonderfully. It's the kind of bowl that would give the high-end shoyu ramen shops of Tokyo a run for their money.


Excellent noodles, made in house with a Japanese flour blend.


Map of 〒540-0005 Ōsaka-fu, Ōsaka-shi, Chūō-ku, Uemachi, A22

Osaka, Osaka-shi, Chuo-ku, Uemachi A-22
Closest station: Tanimachi6

Open 11:00-14:30. 18:00-21:00
Closed Mondays