Monday, November 2, 2009

四代目 けいすけ (Yondaime Keisuke in Bunkyo)

四代目 けいすけ
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Only a few minutes up the street from Keisuke's waaaaay awesome Shodai Keisuke is his 4th incarnation of adventurous, experimental ramen. Blackened miso, followed by shrimp, followed by this.

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Ise Ebi, 伊勢海老, is Japanese spiny lobster. Yep, this soup features kilos and kilos of lobster.

But it doesn't stop at this soup. No way! Coming to this shop is a whole experience. Let's look at the steps. Keisuke (in cute character form) breaks it down.

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I'll break it down too.

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Yeah, you WILL wait. On a rainy Sunday night the wait was just over 40 minutes.

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You'll be presented first with your noodles. This gives you a good 30 seconds to ponder what is going on here. The lunchtime crowd gets standard tsukemen, but at night its yakimorimen, 焼もりめん, fried style noodles. Just enough to get one side a little crispy. Part of the fun here is figuring out how to eat these. Most of them break away, but some clump up. Good luck.

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The soup is served bubbling hot (there's a built in hot stone in the bowl). And it's totally great. The lobsters add a nice hint of flavor. You might be expecting a lobster bisque, but its really just thick pork soup with some other flavor. Good flavor.

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You will have about a third of the soup left when you are done. Instead of the usual broth to add and drink, Keisuke takes a novel approach.

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A fried rice ball. Mush it up into your soup.

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The rice has almost no taste, letting you truly savor the flavor of the soup.

It should also be noted that you can get small, regular, or large size, all the same price. But if you get the small, you get a free topping. Every woman entering the shop, and there were plenty, was told that most girls get the small size. How dainty! My friend chose a free egg...

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...and said that this was the best ramen ever eaten.

Shop info here.