Sunday, December 21, 2014

中華そば 青葉 - Aoba, Kita Senju

中華そば - Chuuka Soba
   I'd heard a few good things about Aoba so it had been on the list for a while. However, I wasn't really planning on heading over to the honten in Nakano and hadn't been out that way for a while, so I figured I'd make do with the branch in Kita Senju. They can't be that different, right?

  Wrong? I don't know - I still haven't been to the honten. But I've gotta say that it was pretty disappointing for a well-known chain. Very soft and doughy noodles left the strongest impression - and it wasn't a good one. I wonder how much the quality varies when these famous stores begin to open new branches and the master hands the reins over to someone else.
  Soup was good though...

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

ラーメン屋 トイ ・ ボックス - Toy Box, Minowa

味玉醤油ラーメン - Shoyu Ramen w/ Egg

  Yet another in the series of places-that-I've-eaten-at-before series. And this one is one the possibly more well-known new-ish shops. It used to be Ando, but as we know, the ramen world can be fickle and restaurants generally have a short lifespan. Luckily for the residents of Minowa, they got a hyped shop so they can join lines where they used to be able to come as they pleased, without the soup running out for the day.

   It was actually quite a while ago that I ate here so I can't quite remember it too well. A couple of different varieties of chashu was certainly a plus, and it was easy to see that the master takes a lot of care in how he prepares each bowl, measuring the oil and having a quick taste of each one to make sure the combinations are right. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

ちょんまげ 九十九ラーメン - Chonmage Tsukumo, IIdabashi

元祖チーズラーメン - Cheese Ramen

    Here's another quick one I don't remember too much about, but the idea of a cheese and miso ramen is too good not to mention, no matter how many times you end up mentioning it. I actually spent a lot of time in Iidabashi in 2013 but didn't spend a lot of time seeking out the local ramen shops since I had an hour to spare from 12PM - Which is the exact time every single office worker is seemingly on their lunch break! I got here at 11:50 on this particular day.

   Every time I see it, my mouth waters. But for some reason it didn't do it for me like it did at the branch in Ebisu. Don't let this turn you off it. I'm sure if I was after another hefty helping of cheese I would indulge.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

麺屋鶴若 - Tsuruwaka, Minowa

背脂中華そば - Seabura Chuka Soba

   All good things must come to an end, as they say, so it's sad to see that the ramen shop that got me through my first winter in Tokyo, Takumiya, is no longer with us. Of course, with all the subsequent ramen that I've eaten, it's safe to say that it wasn't actually that good. Luckily the premises was set up in a such a way that another ramen shop was the obvious choice to be the next tenant. I'm not sure if these holes in the counter were there before, nor their purpose.

    Tsuruwaka is the relatively new kid on the block - actually I'm not quite sure how new as I went there months ago, and it has been there at least a year - but nevertheless, it is now a different places for the residents of Minowa to get their ramen fix.

   There it is! Honestly, I don't remember a lot about this bowl aside from the fact that it wasn't very memorable. Does that count?! It was quite good and definitely an improvement on what used to be available here, but it seemed to be lacking in originality. Not the worst by any stretch, but lacking something that made it unique.

   Obviously I didn't have any problems finishing it though.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

らーめん 大雅 - Taiga, Saitama

味噌らーめん - Miso Ramen

    Having finally got my Japanese drivers license, one of my first stops in the car had to be a ramen shop. I don't expect anyone to come out this way, but it is certainly refreshing to be able to get out on the road and away from the trains every once in a while... The traffic, however, remains.
    Taiga was a tip from a local who, so far, has been a pretty useful contributor to my travels around these northern reaches of Saitama. 
    The master here at Taiga used to work at a popular Sapporo shop so, wait for it... it's another miso ramen review. I was sure to be on my best behavior too, as he also apparently has a bit of a reputation for being curt with his customers. Understandably so, since he has all these know-nothing ramen nerds coming in and taking photos of his work then posting them on the internet and writing shitty reviews...
    Here 'tis.

    It was definitely a Sapporo-style miso ramen, with a thick layer of oil on top trapping the heat inside. This place does get good reviews, but I wasn't overly impressed, which isn't to say I was unimpressed either. It was, however, a pretty good representation of a miso ramen but just seemed to lack it's own personality. (Remember what I said about shitty reviews earlier?)

   I was still pretty keen to get to the end though.