Saturday, February 11, 2012

たいよう食堂 (Taiyo Shokudo in Nakano)



The promenade leading to Nakano Broadway, the most random shopping center in the world, is riddled with food. The izakayas hidden down the alleyways are quite charming, but since I was in a hurry, ramen was in order. A light bowl of Okinawa style sokisoba sounded perfect.


I recall I was there shopping for second-hand lenses for my camera. If it weren't for a basic level of self-control, I would have walked away with a couple vintage Beavis and Butthead dolls, a replica machine gun, and a $12,000 wristwatch. That's Nakano Broadway for you. This Okinawan noodle shop suffers from a lack of said self-control. The place is... loud.


The walls serve as a menu, and distractions serve to make it a slow choice.


A bowl of sokisoba; light salt broth topped with Okinawan fishcakes and a mass of slow-cooked pork. You can practically drink the meat, it's so tender.


Add a tablespoon of chili-laced Awamori 泡盛 seasoning (it's booze), and enjoy. I haven't had many bowls in the Okinawa style before, and the ones I have had have been after consuming quite a bit of the booze in question. It's always been good. About the most simple bowl you can imagine.

This stuff isn't often considered in the same sphere as ramen, so research is tough. Let me get back to you on this one.


Tokyo, Nakano-ku, Nakano 5-59-6
Closest station: Nakano

Open 11:00-15:00, 17:00-late


Dennis K. said...

Nice looking bowl Brian! Without the use of actual buckwheat flour in the noodles (and other details), Okinawa soba has been easier for me to describe to friends who never had one with characteristics closer to ramen. I feel many shop owners on the mainland may have taken the same route. But if you'd ask anyone on the island if they'd interchange these meals in the same vein (Okinawa soba vs. ramen), I'm pretty sure they would all say no. Anyway, always enjoy your posts. Keep up the great work. Cheers

Brian said...

Also, it's hard to eat Okinawa soba with all the other good stuff on the menu. Goya-anything is so good.