Thursday, October 27, 2016

麺や 而今 (Jikon in Osaka)

麺や 而今

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I feel like a broken record when I talk about the Osaka food scene. While Tokyo is all over the place in terms of variety of cuisine, Osaka's cuisine is all over the place in terms of variety. Does that make any sense?

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Jikon (or is it Zikon?) isn't far from central Osaka, but it feels like you are in another prefecture. Very rural, with plenty of salarymen riding the early evening train back to their families.

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About a 30 minute train, followed by a long walk to the shop.

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At the shop's opening time, I was second in line. The gentleman before me didn't even have to order, he was a regular who always gets two bowls. One of the shop's famous 芳醇醤油鶏そば, mellow shoyu chicken soba, and one of something a bit more intense. And while the menu has that typical Osaka variety thing going, I had to stick with the classic on my first time.

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If you nerd out about deep umami flavors, this bowl is up there. The master uses konbu from Raosu and Rishiri islands in Hokkaido, considered the best in Japan. If you are ever lucky enough to visit that part of the country, you'll see small-scale mom-and-pop kelp operations, where pristine pieces are hand dried by hand and delicately wrapped up to be shipped to the finest restaurants. With that as the base, he flavors this bowl with a special tare reasoning made from ayu fish sauce and natural, unprocessed shoyu.

Toppings include the standards, plus a chicken meatball, plus smoked duck breast.

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I think I paid an extra 100 yen for the egg. Amazing value here.

I finished my bowl and watched my neighbor be handed his second. A niboshi ramen taken straight from Ibuki, the famous Tokyo-based niboshi ramen joint. A place I had plans to go to the following week.

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Official site here.

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Map of 6 Chome-7-9 Haizuka, Daitō-shi, Ōsaka-fu 574-0043

大阪府大東市灰塚6丁目7-9
Osaka, Daito-shi, Haizuka 6-7-9
Closest station: Konoikeshinden

Open 11:30-14:30, 18:00-21:00
Closed Mondays and Tuesdays