Thursday, December 18, 2014

あじ庵食堂 (Asian Shokudo in Kitakata, Fukushima)

あじ庵食堂

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It has been a while since we'd all eaten in the same place at the same time. Abram and I had spoken about a trip to Hiroshi's hometown for years. Kitakata is a mecca for ramen lovers.  I've been to a few shops on my own over the past few years, always as some sort of side mission on a motorcycle trip. In no particular order:

Bannai Honten
Ito
Shanghai Shokudo
Makoto
Genraiken

Time to add six more to that list. Kitakata, according to local officials, has 122 different shops serving ramen. Yes, this town probably has the largest shop per person ratio in the country.

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Kitakata is known for great bowls of asara - morning ramen. Quite a few of the city's 122 shops open for an early service around 7am. Not a bad way to start the day.

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Asian Shokudo offers three choices for their soup; Golden-kei, Chacha-kei, and Gattsu-kei. As it was first thing in the morning, the lighter golden broth was the way to go.

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Golden, indeed! A great morning bowl. Light, with just enough flavor to let you know that you are in one of Japan's most famous ramen towns. Excellent chashu pork that melts in your mouth.

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Asian is right next door to another popular shop called Shanghai Shokudo. Which one should you choose? Why not have breakfast at Asian, walk around for a few hours, and have lunch at Shanghai? Sounds good to me!

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The shop is a family affair, with husband and wife manning the kitchen. Even their young daughter helps out with dish washing (and slurping!)

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Having slurped at 11 of Kitakata's 122 ramen shops, I can safely put Asian in the top five.

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福島県喜多方市字二丁目4650-29
Fukushima-ken, Kitakata-shi, Nichome 4650-29
Closest station: Kitakata

Open 7:00-19:00
Closed Wednesdays