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