Saturday, October 10, 2009

初代けいすけ (Shodai Keisuke in Bunkyo)

初代けいすけ

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Ramen blogger Nate was taking off for some ramen-less times in the States, and I had just finished a 1400km, 28 hour marathon motorcycle drive from Monbetsu in Hokkaido to Tokyo. We had to hit up something good. How about one of Keisuke's shops. Keisuke is yet another hot chef on the Tokyo ramen scene.

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Shodai, as I found out, means "first generation". This Keisuke character, who is classically trained for the French foods, has to date openned 4 different "concept" shops. Turns out I went to his second generation shop, featuring shrimp to the max flavor, way back in my early ramen days. His other concepts include a lobster soup tsukemen and a fargrant soup deal in Tachikawa that looks to be closed.

But let's focus on the burnt miso.

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You would certianly have a lot of room for error when you plan on burning garlic and miso to make your food. But the risk is minimized by the fact that hella dudes have made this place one of the top shops in the area.

At first taste we were speechless. The smoky, burnt flavor. The salty miso. The creamy porky goodness. And some sweet notes as well. This is up there folks. Way up there.

One thing I'm digging about Keisuke and his shops, is that they are all next to a University. Shodai is next to Todai. Nidaime is next to Waseda. And looks like Yondaime is next to Toyo. College students aren't known for having the most refined taste. When I was at UCLA, I spent many nights eating at a place dubbed "buck fifty", for it's $1.50 sandwiches. Anyone could open up some cheap eats and do quite well with this demographic. But Keisuke brings the gourmet. I'll be back.

Shop info here







4 comments:

Keizo said...

haha buck fitty! i hear it's now seven fitty but the students still call it buck fitty and they don't know why. man how times have changed! all i got to say is, u and nate better be ready for me when i get there. haha.

Brian said...

We say we're ready, but I don't think we really are. 2010 is going to be the year of ramen.

C-Mac said...

Any idea what happened to this place? I am back in town and went to grab a bowl of the good black stuff and there was a different ramen shop in its place. Did it move or did he just shut this one down?

Brian said...

Keisuke has become a beast of a ramen chain. Shops open and close all over the place. It is tough to keep track of.