Tuesday, November 4, 2014

麺屋 吉左右 Kisso: charmed

Japanese people love drinking parties, or nomikai, especially when they're organized through the office. Office nomikai are drinking parties with your office workers, and to me is literally an extension of work...even after work or on the weekend. I was in Kiba, on the east side of Tokyo by the Sumida river, where we were supposed to rent and drink on a boat while it cruised around the bay. If only it wasn't an office nomikai, it would be awesome.

I got to Kiba early. I had no idea that there was a really famous ramen shop right by the station. No idea at all. Total coincidence.

About a dozen people were waiting in line when I got there, but it went pretty quickly. The shop is managed only by a husband and wife team. In typical work distribution, the husband does all the cooking, while the wife takes the order and guides the customers to and from their seats. She kept saying "please just wait a little longer, we will serve you very soon," and "thank you for coming" to all the customers. It was very Japanese, but also really nice and polite.

I ordered the ramen. It looks just like an ordinary gyokai tonkotsu, but the soup is mild, tender, and polished. It was clear this soup took a long time to make. Delicate but flavorful, this is a tonkotsu I think most women would like.

Ramen (780yen)

I can't forget how elastic the noodles are. It wasn't just the elasticity; I actually felt the moisture of the noodles in my mouth. Noodles of this quality are really hard to find.

To be honest, I'm not a big fan of gyokai tonkotsu bowls. They always have such high ratings on the ramen sites and I expect a lot more. Hearts apparently had a bad experience at Kisso with our friend Keizo a few years ago (they ARE pretty strict on photography), but I think they must have listened to their customers and stepped up their game. This is a very high quality ramen, in a relaxing atmosphere, run by a charming couple.

Tokyo, Koto-ku, Toyo-cho 1-11-3
Closest stn: Kiba

Open for lunch from 1130am to whenever the soup runs out (closed Sundays and Wednesdays)


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