Thursday, July 9, 2009
Felonious No Salt
Rumi and Hana fell asleep a little early last night so I took off on my own to try one of the ramen shops, Ganso Sapporo-ya, in the mall next door to the hotel. I was eager to redeem myself after the poor choice I made the last time out.
There was one major problem with this plan though, I speak very little Japanese and can read none. Lucky for me there are normally pictures of items on the menu or if you are lucky life-sized plastic replica's such as the ones you can see in the case to the left. More on these at a later date. So I sat down and when the waitress came to take my order managed as well as I could, "I'm sorry but can I show you a picture." Of course in some corners of the world that might get you twenty, but she politely followed me out to the front of the resturant where I pointed to something that looked just like what I've been after.
I confirmed that the broth would be pork bone flavor and my mouth watered at the sight of the bowl. I added a tap beer to my order and sat down to wait.
The house radio was actually playing That's the Way I Like It as the bowl soon arrived in all its porky glory. Not chashu this time, but stewed pork belly, cooked slowly, typically all day long in a ginger and soy broth until it becomes butter-soft. Three big glorious chunks atop this bowl. Additionally, there were plenty of beansprouts this time as well as preserved bamboo shoots, menma, a personal fave. But there was more. Every year I find myself wanting green vegetables when I'm here, we seem to end up eating a lot of cabbage, and last night I wanted greens. The kicker here ladies and gentlemen, was the spinach. Indeed, there was only one cricism of the toppings, again skimpy on the greeen onions. No matter, I decided to dig in.
It was close folks, really close. The toppings as discussed above were almost perfect, just look at this piece of pork. Thank god I don't belong to any religion that would deny me the likes of this. The noodles again were almost perfect, perhaps just slightly past where they should have been cooked. The problem here? The broth. I wondered how they managed to get all the fat out of that pork without any salt. I didn't have to worry about my blood preasure last night folks, the broth belonged in a health food store. And of course, the Japanese do not keep salt on the table, so I had no course to correct this problem.
Overall though, it wasn't bad, 3 bowls.