Thursday, June 4, 2020

茶禅華 (Sazenka in Hiro, Tokyo)


Sazenka isn't a ramen restaurant per se, rather an ultra-high-end Chinese restaurant that serves some noodle dishes as part of their course menu. Chef Tomoya Kawata is an expert in both Japanese and Chinese traditional cuisine, blending the two for this two-starred experience. 

Hairy crab from Shanghai was in season.

Chashu grilled over bincho charcoal at the table.

The famous Jumping Buddha soup; this soup is so good that it would make the meditating buddha jump for joy.

White truffles from Alba.

Hairy crab risotto with white truffle.

Ok, so this one was obviously great, but by the time the end came, we were stuffed. Many of these high-level Chinese spots in Tokyo end with both a noodle dish and some mabodofu.

Ending with these carb dishes is smart. If someone still has room, they can have a large serving. If you are comatose, just a bite.

Creamy tantanmen. Chef Kawata trained at the now-closed Azabu Chuko from the age of 16 to 26. His original reason for dropping everything to make Chinese food was Chuko's dandanmien.

We were also served light ramen with a chicken broth. Noodles and a soft, clear both. Some of the leftover crab miso served as a topping.

All in all, this was some good, expensive stuff. In recent years other Chinese restaurants of this caliber have begun planning noodle-only sister shop expansions, where a bowl of their dandanmien or lamien would be served for around 10,000 yen ($100). There's a market in Tokyo, so I wish them luck.

Official site here.

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