Friday, November 13, 2009

大山 (Taizan in Kanda)

大山

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Down a busy pedestrian street in the Kanda area of Tokyo, you can expect to find a lot of food. Kanda lies at the edge of the Marounochi area, which means business. Businessmen, offices, and of course food. Simply choosing what to eat after a 14 hour work day can be an adventure. Lucky for me, I've got guidebooks.

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Yeah, that sign says they are open from 8 in the morning. It's true, ramen for breakfast is totally cool if you are in a suit. Despite it's location and obvious clientele, Taizan came recommended in my latest ramen guidebook, titled 女子ラーメン... ramen for chicks.

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The top billed item is a salt broth topped with fried sakura ebi, cherry blossom shrimp. I've had sakura ebi on a few occasions, and they are wonderful. If you are squemish about eating the whole shrimp, stay away. These guys are so small that there is no other way.

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But first, take in the atmosphere. Old baseball memoribilia on all 4 walls.

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Here it is. The fried shrimp is excellent. Fried food often tops thicker udon noodle dishes, but seldom ramen. It's good, real good. It adds a very fried flavor to the soup, which I could see being a problem with some people.

Not with me though.

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The dark mass on the left is their spice blend. A mix of tumeric, coriander, and garam masala. It's awesome, but a little on the light side. I could have gone with about 3 times the amount to give more of a kick.

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Noodles done, you'll be left with a mushy combination of fried batter, tiny shrimps, and soup.

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Add rice.

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Remember, adding rice once the noodles are gone turns one meal into two.

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The place was virtually empty except for Nate and I, and our visitors. Before we left, a lone host, looking fashionable and hungry, slumped into a corner with his cell phone, texting away to god knows who.

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And I checked another off my list.

Shop info here