Thursday, July 2, 2015

ジャンプ (Jump in Kasukabe, Saitama)



Warning, if the above image doesn't look amazing, stop reading now.


If you've made it this far, without running away in fear, congratulations. You have a sophisticated palate and enjoy the finer things in life.

Junk style ramen is one of life's treasures. You can't really get this sort of thing in Tokyo proper, at least not since Junk Garage closed its Tokyo Ramen Street shop. You still need to trek up north to Saitama Prefecture, home of junk ramen.


Punk and skater stickers adorn the walls. Once you've made it this far, you can't really turn back. While Jump is technically a Jiro-kei shop, the second and third line on the ticket machine hold what I was here for.

The third line is your standard mazesoba. Thick-as-all-hell noodles topped with the shop's rich tare seasoning liquid. This alone would be enough to make a grown man cry with happiness. But then come the toppings. Pork, pork fat, babystar chips, shrimp-flavored mayo, and cheese are just some of the bits on top. This harks back to the original Junk Garage.


But it was the second line that piqued my interest. Taresoba is a seafood version of the mazesoba. Gyofun fish powder makes its way in, and the toppings shift accordingly. Gone is the cheese (you can order it as a side option). Instead, you are treated to an ample pile of nori seaweed topped with sansho pepper.

Don't worry, the spicy-crunch-bits are still there, as is the mound of quivering seabura pork back fat.


Mix it up for a minute or two. Mixing actually "activates" some of the glucose in the noodles, giving them a better flavor.

And oh what a flavor it is.

Fat coats everything. The tare and fish powder gives an explosion of umami flavors. There is a crunch that stands opposite the chewiness of the noodles and juiciness of the pork. Sublime.


A note about ordering. You will, as is the case with all Jiro-kei shops, be asked only one question, "You want garlic in that?" This is code for, "What toppings shall I put in, and how much?" I always tell people to just order a normal amount of everything. Zenbu futsu. The same answer will work here, but you will also need to specify if you want an egg or extra pork. Tamago is for egg, chashu is for pork. I recommend the egg, as you already get some pork.

Zenbu tamago should work fine.

Good luck. If you make a mistake everyone will laugh at you.


If you think this is going to wreak havoc on your body, you are probably right. Luckily, there is a vending machine full of special high-fiber black tea outside. This particular tea is meant to counteract the negative effects of carbs and fat.

I drank one, and I lived to write about it.


If Jiro-kei is your thing, check out this insane map of shops around the country:


Map of 5 Chome-1-56 Minami, Kasukabe-shi, Saitama-ken 344-0064

Saitama-ken, Kasukabe-shi, Minami 5-1-56
Closest station: Kasukabe

Open 11:30-14:30, 18:00-22:00
Sunday 11:30-22:00
Closed Tuesdays


Natalie DeCarolis said...

WAHHHH looks awesome, thanks for sharing!

fcubano said...

I am watching a new Japanese drama about ramen called ラーメン大好き小泉さん. It is based on a manga of the same name.

Edward R said...

You need to try Tsubaki's abura soba in Kita. It'll blow you away.

中華そば 椿 - 王子本町2-23-9 -

ChardK1 said...

I had the mazemen at Yojimbo in Jinbocho today . . . not a full-on Junk Garage style mazemen, more like a soupless Jiro-kei. But very good for what it is.