Monday, December 10, 2018

亀戸煮干中華そばつきひ (Tsukihi in Kameido)


Niboshi ramen, do you love it?


A Yokocho (横丁) is a collection of many small shops in a small area. Often called a food alley, they are all over Japan, and one of the best places to go in the evenings for food and drinks. The Kameido Yokocho is great, but like most yokocho, closed during the day.


Or so one would think.


Though the normal izakaya shops are all closed at 11:00 am, there is a new ramen shop with a long line and some stellar bowls and more customers than the tiny alley can handle.


Be warned, this one is intense.


Niboshi ramen is sometimes called grey-style. Dried fishes, mostly baby sardines, are boiled vigorously with a bone broth. The fish are full of oils that emulsify into the already heavy soup. The result is a bit funky, a bit fishy, and very, very popular these days.


Tsukihi pulls no punches. Going for maximum umami kick, they even offer a vinegar condiment with a raw squid inside. Yes, you should.


Thank you, boss!


To be honest, this style isn't for everyone. You might want to try Nagi in Golden Gai before venturing out to hardcore shops like Tsukihi.


Trust me, when it comes to niboshi, people either really, really love it or really, really hate it.

本当なんですよ? 煮干しを味わった瞬間にとても気に入ってくれるか本当に苦手と思う人にわかれます。

I love it. I really, really love it. Matched with wheaty noodles, sous vide pork chashu, and some raw onions to cut the funk, this is one style you won't see overseas. Shops with an overseas presence, like Nagi, have tried and failed.

Tsukihi uses four kinds of ウルメイワシ (red-eye round herring), dried shrimp, and dried squid in their soup. Umami overload.


A bonus side dish of pork on rice.


If you are scared of the grey soup, Tsukihi also has a lighter version.


And if you are scared of the raw squid vinegar, go for the kombu kelp version.