Thursday, September 12, 2019

流星軒 (Ryuseitai in Kannai, Kanagawa)


Classic shoyu ramen.

In another shop dedicated to Eikichi Yazawa (矢沢 永吉). If you don't know who he is (I didn't), the internet says he is quite famous, selling out stadium tours around Japan and playing benefits with Robert Palmer, Bon Jovi, and Rod Stewart. He also has a number of ramen shops opened by his hard core fans.

Other Yazawa tribute ramen shops? Takesue comes to mind. I've heard there are many more up in Gunma and Tochigi.

This shop is on the way to Trick, a shop I had an appointment at. Why not have a pre-ramen bowl of ramen!

Classic shoyu. I love these simple bowls, as most people can crush one with ease. The entire time, from sitting down, to ordering, to eating, to paying took about three songs.

Official twitter here.

Monday, September 9, 2019

雲林坊 (Yunrin in Kudanshita, Tokyo)

雲林坊 九段店

Hot and numbing tantanmen was declared the ramen trend of 2019, with shops like Yunrin taking the lead.

Choose your levels of heat and choose your levels of numb.

As these bowls are on the sloppy side, a paper apron is a wise choice for those wearing anything lighter than black.

This one was standard. It's a bit nutty from the sesame and peanuts, a bit smoky from the mara spices, and a bit chewy from the noodles. Be careful not to get more spice than you can handle.

Mix the rice bowl into the leftover sauce to get every last bit.

Official site here.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

牛王 (Gou Beef Ramen in Kawasaki, Kanagawa)

牛骨らーめん 牛王

Where's the beef?

Out near Musashi-Shinjo Station apparently.

I was in the area to visit a California style burrito spot I heard about and left enough room to crush a quick bowl. FYI, Cactus Burrito is the bomb.

Back to the beef.

Beef bone soup topped with thin slices of roast beef. A little tomato adds to the umami.

This soup is 100% beef and a mix of ten vegetables. Refreshing stuff.

The raw egg on the side works as a dip for the sliced beef. Much like sukiyaki or certain kinds of yakitori, in Japan people love dipping meats into a raw egg. You should too.

Official site here.

Monday, September 2, 2019

用心棒 (Yojinbo in Hongo, Tokyo)

用心棒 本号

Oh, Jiro-kei, our on-again off-again love affair continues.

Jiro-style, known as Jiro-kei or Jiro-inspire is defined by thick, wheaty noodles in a pure pork soup, topped with bean sprouts, raw garlic, and as much seabura pork back fat as you can handle. It tends to be too heavy for me, so I only eat the stuff a few times a year. Some people, known lovingly as Jirorians, eat the stuff a few times a week.

Enter Jiro-style mazesoba. Soupless ramen with all those tasty toppings. This is something I can eat without the aftereffects of drinking the fattiest soup on Earth. Sure, your breath is destroyed for the next 12 hours, but maybe your stomach is not.

Raw garlic, raw ginger, spicy bits of tempura batter, fatty pork, and both a raw egg and cooked egg. Junk food extraordinaire. All these toppings are free, and you can ask for it mashi if you want extra. Garlic mayonnaise, also free, is optional.

Mix it up and enjoy your life. Please listen to me. Don't get a large size if you don't know what you are in for. Even the smallest serving of noodles here is much more than a normal bowl of ramen.

You've been warned.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

麺GARAGE 肉ヲ見ル (Men Garage Niku wo Miru in Sangenjaya, Tokyo)

麺GARAGE 肉ヲ見ル

More churrasco ramen?!?!

You bet. More churrasco ramen at a shop called Niku wo Miru. Literally, see the meat.

Choose ramen or tsukemen. Then watch (見る) as they slice roast pork, beef rump, beef butt, roast chicken, and Brazilian sausage on that bad boy.

Charcoal-grilled for a beautiful burn on the outside, with a juicy center.

No need for an explanation.

The soup is a rich tonkotsu gyokai. A great match with the toppings. Fair warning, you'll be done after this shop. Maybe you can get a drink at nearby craft beer bar Pigalle, but you might just want to head home for a nap. 

Thanks boss!

FYI, if you aren't a noodle lover, you can opt for plates of meat sans-carbs.

The homemade noodles are excellent, though.

Another solid spot in Sangenjaya. This area is set to become hipster central, as Sophia (or was it Temple) University will take up residence here soon. There are already craft tacos, incredible Indian, and plenty of ramen shops around.

A little Japanese underground knowledge for you. The number 29 can be read as niku, which is the same word for meat. So on the 29th of many months, meat-centric shops give you something special. Here, it's some charcoal roasted smoked chicken topping free of charge. Solid!

Monday, August 26, 2019

ふくみみ (Fukumimi in Fuchu, Tokyo)

中華そば ふくみみ

Are you obsessed with these old school ramen spots? Most rural neighborhoods have a handful of them. Affordable stuff for the locals.

At 650 yen, the price was right.

Fukumimi opened in 2003, but it feels like something out of the 50s. A gang of local high school students made the line deceptively long. For an extra 100 yen, they were all going with extra noodles. It's a trope at ramen shops in Japan; high schoolers love the big bowls.

A blend of bone broth and fish broth. Homemade noodles. Classic.

This shop is a major contender for a must-slurp bowl during the 2019 rugby world cup. The Tokyo stadium isn't central Tokyo at all. Fuchu lies a good 30 minutes west of the sights you know. Even though that is the case, I hope this rather inconvenient location means people check out less visited ramen shops, temples, and museums on Tokyo's west side. Enjoy the games!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

ハンディクラフトワークス (Handicraft Works in Yashio, Saitama)


We've got a meat situation here!

But first, we need to get here. Handicraft Works is about an hour out into Saitama, followed by a good 15 to 20 minute walk.

Churrasco takes center-stage here. Various tasty cuts are used as toppings for your ramen. This is really more of a "you want some noodles with that meat"?

Oh man, this one is good. Expect some Iberico pork, Japanese pork, beef, and sausage.

But am I in love with the noodles or the meat? Does it matter?

This is mazesoba, soupless ramen that could be considered the third form of Japanese ramen after tsukemen. Foodies have universally accepted that mazesoba can be whatever you want it to be. Top those noodles with flavor, and if it tastes good the fans will react.

I went with a friend, and we ordered the Wild Beef version as well as the Volcano version. Their menu changes slightly on a regular basis, so just check what is going on when you arrive. The Volcano was topped with some grilled pineapple and a spicy sauce.

The noodles, and I assure you that they exist somewhere under that pile of meat, are handmade in house.

Funashi, the famous Chiba mascot, approves of this one.

A splash of fruity vinegar makes for an excellent condiment.