Monday, July 27, 2009

A Pleasant Surprise


About a mile from where I am staying right now is this little unassuming ramen shop which my twelve year old nephew told me was supposed to be good. It was really hot out Sunday and I didn't feel much like walking too far so I figured I'd give it a try.

When I walked in I was in the familiar position of not being able to read anything. I looked at the posted photos of the ramen and asked the waiter what was 880 yen. "Negi chashu miso" he replied. Didn't look like that to me but I said, "So desuka, watashi wa negi chashu miso onagaishimasu." Really bad Japanese I'm sure, but he understood.

The reason I was confused was because the photo appeared to show kimchee on top of the bowl of ramen, not scallions. When the soup arrived, my confusion was soon settled. The scallions had been soaked, not quite pickled, in a chili paste which made them red hot. These were a fantastic new topping which I heretofore have not seen. This combined two of my favorite things. Add to that crisp fresh moyashi, a little wakame sea weed, and some very decent, though a little thick, chashu and you've got yourself a winner.

The noodles were a thicker variety, though certainly not as thick as the ones I had at the ramen museum. They were cooked to perfection and I was beginning to think the family should chose this as their local joint, it being a significant step up from the other places around their house I have tried.

The soup as well was not bad. It wasn't anything to knock your socks off, but it was a good clean tasting light miso broth. Overall this was a very well balanced bowl of ramen and I will certainly be visiting this shop again in the future. I gave it four bowls.

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