Monday, July 6, 2020

けいま (Keima in Hiroshima)

広島つけ麺&Bar けいま

Back in 2008, I used to live just outside of Hiroshima, before I really cared about ramen. Weekends in the sleepy town of Kure weren't so exciting, so I'd take the train to Hiroshima City proper. More often than not I ended up in the Yagenbori red-light district. Red-light areas in Japan aren't all sin, with some great casual restaurants being the norm. There were also fun bars. Keima is technically a cocktail bar, but they serve a mean tsukemen. Bar food extraordinaire.

I stumbled across this one after crushing Hiroshima tsukemen at both Wakabatei and Reimenya. I'm not someone who does three bowls of ramen in one day anymore . . . or am I?

Keima specializes in homemade citrus sours. Kabosu from Oita and lemons from the Seto area are soaked in shochu for a few weeks. The resulting liquid is mixed with soda water and served on ice. Fantastic stuff, especially when they make it from scratch like this. To be honest, I would have popped in here regardless of the tsukemen.

A sign on the street is what drew me in. Kodawari tsukedare, or tsukemen tare seasoning. Preservative-free. Konbu from Hokkaido. Iriko from the Seto Inland Sea. Iriko (いりこ) is another way of saying niboshi, popular in western Japan.

Awesome. A fun corner bar serving tasty drinks and quality local noodles.

Open late. Fun staff. No English. What a great spot.

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