Thursday, April 23, 2020

杭州飯店 (Koshu Hanten in Niigata)


Koshu Hanten is a full-on legend shop. One of the founders of Niigata-style seabura ramen. Seabura (背脂) is pork back fat, and the stuff covers bowls in this massive prefecture. I've heard that the hard-working rice farmers of this part of Japan needed something to give them the energy for long days in the fields. Whether that is true or myth, you'll find a lot of pork fat in Niigata.

Koshu Hanten has around 85 years of experience. From humble beginnings as a yatai food cart to this.

Insane gyoza and tasty gyusijinikomi, beef tendon stewed in Japanese sauce, along with the ramen make for one of the most decadent, calorie-riddled meals I've had in a while. Could you say no to all this good stuff?

Sure, you could just go for ramen. I visited with a group of four adults and two children. Crushed it all.

The noodles here are on the thick side and a bit uneven. Noodles are obviously an integral part of any bowl of ramen. While the Tokyo trend is refined, something like the seabura ramen at Koshi Hanten is a breath of fresh air.

The owner is a character. The third or fourth generation, he carries on the tradition. Obviously, he's happy to be ranked so highly in Ramen Walker magazine.

And he rides a badass Harley! Always good to see another #ramenrider out there.

Sorry, but this shop is a tad out of the way of any touristy spots in Niigata. Tsubame has many metal-working factories, so maybe you'll come for that. Otherwise, hop off the bullet train, grab a bowl, and head on your way.

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