Thursday, September 13, 2018

五福星 (Ufushin in Sendai)


Ufushin was so good, I went twice!

Even though it is technically a pain in the ass to get to for those without a car. From Sendai, take the Namboku subway line to the end. Then walk another 20 minutes to the shop. You could always take taxi.

I have met the master many times in Tokyo. Hayasaka-san is a legend in the ramen world, and has offered support to many top shops. He knows stuff, and his views on health and ramen are substantial.

I didn't realize that the menu was this deep at dinnertime. The ramen is a heavier-than-normal pork soup with options for extra meat and extra local wakame seaweed.

The side menu is all over the place. I was drawn to their jumbo gyoza with a spicy sauce.

Super nice. The master mixes tofu into the gyoza mix, and they instantly become double the size. Nice technique!

The ramen has plenty of seabura back fat, matched with a soup that keeps everything in line. The noodles are made on site. All-in-all one of the best bowls I've had in recent years.

I chatted with Hayasaka-san a bit, and he told me about his 朝ラー. Breakfast ramen. I didn't realize he did this, so I stuck around Sendai an extra day, woke up at 6am, and ventured out, again, to the shop.

This bowl encapsulates his philosophy about ramen. Ramen shouldn't just be food for anytime. Heavy, pork stuff belongs at dinner. Lunchtime is ok for some fat, but it should give you more energy for a productive afternoon. And breakfast should be 100% healthy and mineral rich.

This morning bowl uses unseasoned pork cut from the same batch of chashu that will get seasoned for later service. The soup is very light, and hit with a large amount of mineral-heavy Okinawa sea salt. This salt is something special. You can eat a spoonful of it and not feel like you had too much sodium.

Finally, the highlight is the wakame. Hayasaka-san gets it fresh from the nearby sea. Most wakame is dried and reconstituted. He keeps it at ocean temperature during transport, and stores it in a medical-grade refrigerator at the shop. The temperature never fluctuates.

Superfood in the truest sense of the word.

Oh, be sure to check out the bathroom!

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