Thursday, October 6, 2011

まる福 大勝軒 (Marufuku Taishoken in Ekota)

まる福 大勝軒

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The name Taishoken conjures up a lot of confusion for me. The simple story is that Yamagisa-san came up with the idea of tsukemen back in the 60s after moving to Tokyo to open a ramen shop. With lines stretching out the door for almost 50 years, Taishoken is without a doubt one of the most important players in the scene. The influences are vast.

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And that is where the confusion begins. Although the poster hanging in some shops explains the lineage, it is confusing. Many, many shops have been opened over the years by disciples of the master. Therein lies both the blessing and the curse. I see Taishoken shops often, but they are never crowded, and often have the atmosphere of the type of shops that I avoid. The only common denominator, it seems, is that the shops all serve morisoba, another name for tsukemen. A shoyu soup is another common denominator, which is my least favorite of the tsukemens. Long time readers will recognize that I am into newer, inventive bowls, and Taishoken is definitely old-school.

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The Ekota branch ranks in as the 18th member of the family. Maybe it's the distance from number 1, or maybe number 17 was just too traditional, but this shop offers a few surprising choices. The miso version and the kimchee version both sound appealing, but I was here for the 和風もり.

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Wafu soup and wafu toppings. Fried somen noodles, jellied konyaku, and a piece of daikon.

The unique bits and pieces don't stop with the toppings. The soup, though normal looking enough, hides even more wafu. Bunashimeji mushrooms are plentiful; and sasami meatballs are a nice addition.

Great stuff.

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I realize that I never took photos or did a review of the original Taishoken in Higashi-Ikebukuro. Sorry Yamagisa-san! Your disciple in Ekota did a fine job though.

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東京都練馬区栄町4-7
Tokyo, Nerima-ku, Sakaecho4-7
Closest station: Ekoda

Open 11:00-21:00
Closed Sundays