Sunday, June 30, 2013

camino: garden state

This tsukemen shop is located in Mishuku, Setagaya ward. The shop appearance is like a small cafe. 

Hearts and I got the ajitama yasai tsukemen - cooked vegetable dip noodles with exquisite seasoned egg (translation is more or less correct).

Ajitama yasai tsukemen (1150yen)

This bowl really surprised us, because there was a lot of veggies. Zucchini, squash, greens, etc. A little pricey, but think of it like a plate lunch served at a fancy cafe. It looked like a bagna cauda! Sounds healthy, huh?

Also, the bowl consisted of just 100g of noodles, which means that half of the bowl is all veggies (and delicious egg).

Actually, I have mixed feelings every time I eat ramen. I'm satisfied, but on the other hand, I am a lady! I care about calories. 

However, I enjoyed the bowl this time without any guilt (well, almost any guilt).

The rich tonkotsu-gyokai broth went well with both noodles and various veggies. And the soup wari at the end had lots of ginger for a sweet finish.

A bowl (plate?) that's filling and which both men and women can enjoy.

Tokyo, Setagaya, Mishuku 2-11-33

Closest stn: Ikenoue or Ikejiri-ohashi (about a 10 min walk from either)

Open from 1130am-230pm and 5-10pm (closed Monday and every 3rd Tuesday)


Saturday, June 29, 2013

青島食堂 Aoshima Shokudo: akihabara's neighborhood ramen

Akihabara. Known for its "B-kyu," junk-food spots, there are unsurprisingly a few notable ramen joints. Most casual visitors tend to eat at the well-known tonkotsu spot Kyushu Jangara. It's a solid, if overly oily, tonkotsu place.

But the love in Akihabara really goes to Aoshima. Long lunch waits on all days. Mostly male, though not what you would assume to be the otaku crowd. Then again, Akihabara hasn't been the hub for that demographic for a while now.

Shokudo in Japanese means "cafeteria." In Japanese, this means stools, fluorescent lights, and a casual, diner-like vibe.

Ticket options are huge. You can get half-orders of any topping.

Aoshima's go-to-bowl is their shoyu ramen. It's also their only bowl. A lot of confidence in a traditional chuka-soba exuding old-school nostalgia, but Aoshima has more refinement than your average local mom-and-pop ramen shop. The soup is infused with heavy amounts of ginger for a beautiful fragrance and taste.

Shoyu ramen with chashu (750yen)

The ginger makes for some deep shoyu flavor. Look at that soup. And the noodles have some great spring.

The best bowl in Akihabara?

Probably, though this is a great classic shoyu that would be deserving in any ramen mecca.

Tokyo, Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Sakumagahashi 3-20-1
Closest stn: Akihabara (7 min walk)

Open from 1130am-7pm (closed on Tuesdays)


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

つけ麺ちっちょ極 Tsukemen Chiccho: healing tsukemen with a bite

This is my favorite tsukemen (dip style ramen) in Shibuya, Tsukemen Chiccho. It takes about 10~15 minutes from Shibuya Station on foot.

This was my first bowl that had citrus squeezed on the noodles. You can even squeeze extra sudachi on the noodles. I thought it was unusual at first, but the sweetness of the tonkotsu-gyokai (pork and brine) broth and the freshness of the citrus go very well together. One of those bowls you enjoy til the end.

Tsukemen with ajitama (800yen)

Chiccho's bowl isn't extraordinary, but perhaps because I was really struggling with job hunting at the time, this ramen really healed me.

At that moment, it was a lovely little shop. The wait staff were all nice to me and my friends, and we could enjoy a fugitive moment away from tiring job hunting.

Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Udagawacho 37-18
Closest stn: Shibuya (7 min walk)

Open from 1130am-4pm (lunch) and 530pm-11pm (dinner)


Sunday, June 16, 2013

What is Ramen Love?


We fell in love ramen from an early age.

Hearts' crazed addiction to ramen began 15 years ago with a porky bowl of tonkotsu in Nagoya, at one of the first branches of the famed Ippudo chain outside of Kyushu. He waited over 2 hours to eat. Having never before had such a burst of concentrated flavor, his opinion of ramen - and life - was forever changed.

Lum's bowl that started her love affair with ramen began at the age of five, when she was taken to the classic shoyu (soy sauce) shop Eifukucho Taishoken by her parents. Taishoken's scalding hot, fishy broth became a part of life, family, and tradition. Whenever she returns, it takes her back home.

Ramen is a meal that anyone can eat, in any form, in any season, and the flavors and experiences can always be new. But the best shops provide a passion and love for life that never changes.

We eat ramen to find this love. And we hope you can taste and feel this passion through this blog.

Now, itadakimasu!