Thursday, January 14, 2010

こうかいぼう (Kokaibo in Kiyosumi)



Finding a great shop can be an adventure, or a complete cinch. The easiest way to eat good is to simply look at a reputable magazine or website's ranking, and pick a top shop. This time it was the #4 ramen from ultra database Not to be confused with Bret Hart's signature suplex finishing move.


The rankings can be misleading though, especially in Japan. I'm not sure about the supleks ranking logistics, but if a shop is mentioned by someone famous on TV, it will suddenly be everyone's favorite. If a member of AKB48 says she likes even the worst of ramen shops, you can bet the next day every otaku in town will be there.


All that said, I'm a sucker for rankings. I read them all, and make notes in my Tokyo street atlas. That's how I got to Kokaibo, which is near a lesson I teach.


Made from pork, chicken, konbu, fish, and many many vegetables. That may sound like the recipe at 90% of shops, but it's the proportions that count. I love that they list this stuff out for me. They even mention that the water is from a Seagull IV, which sounds horrible, but is just a type of water purification system.


The set comes with a small rice and raw egg. There was also a set with a bowl of fried pork rice, which looked really good.


The ramen was a simple thing, reminding me a lot of Ikaruga. I had my first taste.


Perfect. Some sweetness to it. Then... something was different. Not wrong, but different.


The soup has almost no aftertaste. I've never, in all my bowls, been left with the taste of... water. My bowl of similar looking ramen the day before lingered for hours. This one had been suplexed, and was down for the count.


The whole lack of aftertaste thing works great here. You really taste the noodles. And the subtle initial flavors aren't crushed by a garlicky power. Ramen rankers of Supleks, well ranked.

More Shop Info Here