Tuesday, July 10, 2012

星火 (Seika in Jiyugaoka)



I have been on an adventure lately to find some オシャレ ramen shops. Oshare (お洒落 for you kanji learners out there) means stylish, and it is the go-to adjective for restaurants with nice interiors. In most cases, the interior matches the cuisine, and an oshare ramen shop will go the extra bit to make their food . . . pretty.


Sure enough, in upscale Jiyugaoka, there are plenty of shops that look the part. Seika is actually more of an izakaya, serving all sorts of bites to go with their long list of Japanese alcohol. Ramen was one of a dozen lunch items.


The summer-only tsukemen had a creamy-slash-spicy tantan thing going on. What's that floating in the soup?


A ponzu ice cube keeps the soup cool. It should be worth noting that the ingredients used at Seika were top notch.


The shio ramen is delightfully complex. Three quail eggs, as opposed to one giant one from a chicken, is something I would like to see more of in ramen. Or how about some quail eggs and a chicken egg. Duck eggs, too. Most ramen adventurers are fans of eggs.

The lunch set included some fried lotus, a bit of a pickle salad, and a red riceball. Classy.


But, I'm sad to say, the noodles were strictly average. With the impression of the shop, and all the great ingredients and care taken, I would really expect some high quality noodles.


Another bad point for the ramen, yet a good point for the shop, was that the other lunch choices looked amazing. Another customer ordered the rice bowl; raw salmon and scallops topped with a healthy pile of salmon roe. A veritable Hokkaido-in-a-bowl, I left envious of their choice.


To get there, walk past the doggy hair salon, turn at the vintage clothing shop with only three shirts for sale, and stop just before the house with six Ferraris. Oshare!


Tokyo, Meguro-ku, Jiyugaoka 1-21-4
Closest station: Jiyugaoka

Open 11:30-14:00, 18:00-24:00

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