Monday, October 15, 2018

175°DENO担担麺TOKYO in Shinjuku


From Hokkaido to Shinjuku, it's  . . . spicy tantanmen?

Apparently, the founder, Mr. Deno (出野) wanted to create a hybrid of Chengdu Sichuan and Japanese ramen.

Homemade spice mix using peppercorns sourced directly from farmers in China, cashew nuts in place of the standard peanuts, and an eight hour chicken soup are all highlights. The 175 degrees refers to the temperature the spice oil is made at.

Soup (スープあり) or soupless (スープなし) are both available.

A recent trend in the ramen world is Chengdu Sichuan spice. This shop has been a big one in this genre, opening eight shops already.

As it is a Japanese fusion style, don't expect the levels of heat you would normally find with a more traditional tantanmen.

Website here.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

らあめん満家 (Mitsuruya in Okubo)


Here's one that you, the foreigner visiting this page, may not be so into. But for your local Japanese guy or gal, it might be their new favorite.

I'm not talking about the regular, shoyu ramen. Mitsuruya's shoyu ramen is classic.

What I'm referring to is the frothy mixture behind the counter.

What looks like scrambled eggs is actually natto, the slimy, viscous result of fermented soy beans. It's a staple of Japanese cuisine, and completely strange to those who have never had it.

Like I said, the standard shoyu is classic.

And here is the natto version.

It's a tsukemen, so dip the noodles into the slimy, slightly stinky, very frothy soup. Some people (myself included) think that natto has a texture like snail slime. Some people can't stand the taste, which is a little like dirty socks. Other people just love every aspect of it.

It is very healthy stuff. Enjoy.

Monday, October 8, 2018

MONKEY KING at SoDoSoPa, Dallas, USA


There's a certain quality vibe and energy that is SoDoSoPa. From the independent merchants and unique cafes to the rustic charm of a mixed income crowd.

Where else can you let loose your wild side while still being a part of helping the local economy.

And now, a chance to own a piece of this exciting area of Dallas.

After a night out of eating and shopping, take a few steps and you're home.

It's oh so SoDoSoPa.

And for those very privileged few, the most private and exclusive ownership opportunity is here. Announcing the residencies at the lofts at SoDoSoPa.

These finely appointed residences all feature state-of-the-art finishes and balconies with views of historic Kenny's house.

A place to laugh, a place to gather, a place to mingle with people of all economic classes. And now, it's a place to live.

SoDoSoPa. Welcome home.

Website here.

No, I didn't like this ramen. Goodbye, Dallas.

Thursday, October 4, 2018


Homemade Ramen with Mike a.k.a. Ramenlord


It was a happy coincidence that Mike Satinover, aka Ramen Lord, was living in Chicago.

I feel like many readers of Ramen Adventures will know this guy, but if you aren't that big of a ramen nerd, here's the rundown. Mike lived in Sapporo for a while, where he got a taste for great ramen. When he returned to the good old U S of A, nothing really worked for him, so he started cooking at home. He's a calculating guy, and a little obsessive over details. These points are top level traits when it comes to something like ramen, where slight variations can make a huge difference in the end product.

Reddit, aka the front page of the internet, is a big part of Mike's life. He goes by Ramen Lord there. This is where he posts recipes, talks about his experiments, and generally keeps the ramen nerds in line.

Mike started hosting friends at his house on a regular basis, and his little ramen house parties became known. The next step was to do pop up events, and his monthly (or so) ramen events, dubbed Akahoshi, have become a huge hit. FYI, keep an eye on his Instagram page to get the details.

So, when I was in Chicago, I had to meet the guy. I had to try his ramen.

Beautiful, homemade noodles. He had some samples from America's biggest noodle maker Sun Noodle, but these were from his own Italian pasta press.

Prepping the signature miso ramen.

A little something for extra umami.

And here it is. This one was something special. Sure, it could stand on its own in a restaurant, but the fact that he's making it in his apartment's super normal kitchen is amazing.

Want more? I made a video.

(Sorry, I'm not linking a map to Mike's house)

Monday, October 1, 2018

High Five Ramen in Chicago, USA

High Five Ramen

Welcome to Chicago! And welcome to High Five Ramen.

High Five Ramen comes from the Hogsalt group, a Chicago-based restaurant group behind some of the city's most recognized burgers, steaks, and barbecued meats.

They hopped on the ramen train early on, and a group of five or six chefs came out to Tokyo to sample some tasty bowls a few years back. One bowl that really affected them was Kikanbo, everyone's favorite spicy miso ramen topped with a secret blend of hot spice and a healthy amount of szechwan peppercorn.

That was the inspiration for their bowl.

I went with the half spice, which ended up being pretty damn intense. Anyone who goes full spice, be prepared. And anyone who dares the signature Kanabo is downright insane (or has just built up a decent tolerance for spice).

The photos really don't do this justice. The lighting in this place is dark. Not just dimly lit, it is a full on dungeon. In a world where everything should look "good for the gram", this is a good thing.

I don't know how I feel about this, but it was fun. Boozy slushy drinks to counteract the spice. This pineapple and rum concoction brought the spice down a bit. I can honestly say I've never had a sweet drink in a ramen shop before.

I asked them about this, as well as the average customer time of 45 minutes. The shop approaches things from a hospitality point of view, and they want their customers to hang out and relax a bit. Maybe take your time with the rest of that soup.

鬼ころし, Oni Koroshi, is the Pabst Blue Ribbon of the sake world. Yes, this had a straw like a juice box.

People commented on my YouTube video that I didn't state my opinion clearly enough. To be honest, the ramen was great, the drinks weird, and the chill vibe very strange and a bit uncomfortable for me. In Japan, I feel shame if the friends I am eating with take too long.

So basically I recommend this spot.

Didn't you eat pizza in Chicago?


I had a few pies and thought they were decent, though I'd call these lasagna with dough instead of pizza.

Website here.