Monday, November 18, 2013

東京ラーメンショー (2013 Tokyo Ramen Show)

東京ラーメンショー

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Time again for the annual Tokyo Ramen Show! I said I wouldn't go this year, but the nice weather meant that I should probably leave the house. 10am is a good time to show up, as the lines weren't too bad.

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You can safely jump in the longest one at this time, and only have to endure about 30 minutes. Later in the day and you can expect hours.

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This was a collaboration bowl from a top shop in Akita and a top shop in Miyagi. The Tokyo Ramen Show is all about collaborations. Once in a lifetime chances to try something unique. Famous shops teaming up, local cities putting their best bowl forward, and a lot of one-off experiments.

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Last year, this ebisoba bowl was just awful.

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The Nagoya crew's line was short, but their spirits were in full force.

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The dude with the mohawk? He is the owner of Mohican Ramen in Kyushu.

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Nakamoto, the mega-famous red-hot ramen shop, always teams up with someone for this event. Last year was with Ippudo, and this year was with Shinpu, another Kyushu tonkotsu joint.

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90% Shinpu, 10% Nakamoto. I prefer that ratio, as Nakamoto's spice tends to be a bit much. Just a little kick for good measure here.

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Mr. Ikuta, aka Mr. Nagi, helped with a group collaboration that did a different style every couple of days. How was their Onomichi style ramen?

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Very nice!

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Gari Gari Kun!

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Free stickers.

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The event has a whole row of extra stuff. Like this ramen quiz booth, set up by the Japan Ramen Association. Featuring Renge-chan (spoon girl).

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I almost answered everything without having to look at the answers. The four questions on the questionnaire (win a button!) were:

Who was the first Japanese person to eat ramen?
When did Ogikubo's Harukiya first open?
Was is the full name of the Nisshin Corporation?
When did the Tokyo Ramen Show first start?

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Thank you Osaki-san for being the man behind this event. Please put more chairs out next time! When the boss has to sit on a flower planter, you know the place is packed.

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The event will go until November 24th. Check it out if you have the time. As always, nothing was stellar (eating out of plastic bowls outside isn't ideal ramen conditions), but the event is a fun, random food experience. If you want my ranking of the bowls I tried, here you go:

  1. The Akita x Miyagi collab. Great chicken flavor with a kick of seafood.
  2. Tomita x Daruma. Creamy Hakata tonkotsu with the roughness of Tomita's signature soup.
  3. Nakamoto x Shinpu. My favorite Hakata spot with a spicy kick.
  4. Onomichi-style. A bunch of Ramen Association dudes mucking around making good ramen.
  5. Hakodate "ocean" ramen. Shio ramen with tons of seafood flavors.

I'd suggest getting a bowl at a spot with a short line, then eating that bowl while you wait in a longer line. Hours waiting on an empty stomach is bad for your health!

Official Site for the Event