Friday, October 07, 2016

My favorite ramen places in Tokyo

Quite frankly, I can't say what the best ramen in Tokyo is, since I haven't tried all of them. I never will be able to, either, since there always new places opening up.

If you read Japanese, the Ramen DB is a great resource, as a repository of most of the Tokyo ramen fanatics' reviews.

So, I'll just introduce my personal favorites:
1) Right now, this is the ramen I'm personally craving the most: the chicken ramen in Azabu Juban 麻布十番156 Ichikoro. A thick broth akin to tonkotsu but different. They do the egg with the soft yolk center. Their gyoza is pretty good too.
Interestingly, I've never tried their sister chain 野朗ラーメン Yaro Ramen although the tonkotsu smells pretty good. 156 Ichikoro has a slightly fancier ambience and is easier for me to enter.

2) Not ramen, but I'm going to stick it on this list because when I'm craving noodles this fits the bill just as well as tonkotsu ramen.  笹塚 Sasazuka station is a bit out of the way but it is home to 豪快 Gokai (map), the best 坦々麺 tantan noodles I've ever had. If you haven't had Japanese tantanmen, it's a creamy Japanese variation on the Chinese original.  Cheap all the time, and pretty fast.  Counter space only (12 seats).  Just order the tantanmen 坦々麺 with the 細麺 thin noodles. They also do handmade thick noodles, but although I normally love handmade noodels, I don't like these as much as the thin noodles.
I expect that they're cash only, and I don't think they speak English, but you can show them this photo.

3) For tonkotsu ramen, I usually go to 博多一風堂 Ippudo. Easy to find around Tokyo. They have the thin, straight Hakata style noodles, and 2 regular types of tonkotsu - white is traditional, red is the revolutionary/modern version.

4) I like the salt ramen at 山頭火 Santouka (the fatty pork ぶたバラ is ridiculous, and can be a bit too fatty)

5) A chain restaurant found everywhere in Japan, 天下一品 has a こってりラーメン that is ridiculously thick. Apparently it's a chicken and vegetable based broth, but this stuff will probably leave you full for a day - it's that thick. I would recommend not drinking all the broth if you want to be able to move afterwards.

I hear the tonkotsu ramen at 一蘭 Ichiran is good, with the thin, straight 博多 Hakata style noodles. Next trip!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Mini Review: Revlon ColorStay Moisture Balm in London Posh

TL;DR: I like the shimmery beige-peach color, but the texture is a bit heavier and slightly stickier than the Japanese products like Coffret D'Or Bright Up Rouge or Shiseido Lacquer Rouge.
Revlon ColorStay Moisture Balm (color: London Posh) with green Android planter and clover
Revlon ColorStay Moisture Balm (color: London Posh)
Still, it's much cheaper than those options. I probably won't repurchase or try other colors unless the texture grows on me; I will say they do have many pretty options in this line. I prefer lipsticks these days anyway, so this isn't a type of product I need.
Swatches on arm: left: Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick (color: Naughty Nude); right: Revlon ColorStay Moisture Balm (color: London Posh)
Swatches: left: Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick (color: Naughty Nude); right: Revlon ColorStay Moisture Balm (color: London Posh)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick in 700 Naughty Nude

TL;DR: thumbs up if you find a color that you like, and don't mind layering up with balm.
Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick (color: Naughty Nude) and green Android planter with clover
Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick (color: Naughty Nude)
I like the soft floral scent; it fades after a while. The lipstick is easy to apply and feels nice, but after a few minutes it starts feeling dry. I can see why people like applying a balm first. The plastic packaging feels nice and solid. Not cheap like the Revlon Butter Balms.

Swatches on arm: left: Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick (color: Naughty Nude); right: Revlon ColorStay Moisture Balm (color: London Posh)
Swatches: Left: Rimmel The Only 1 Lipstick (color: Naughty Nude); right: Revlon ColorStay Moisture Balm (color: London Posh)
I'd like to try some paler shades, as this one turns a strong rose on my pigmented lips, but it doesn't look like they have any paler options in the U.S. market. As I already have enough bright lipsticks, I guess this is my one foray into the line for now. Maybe when I use up one of my red lippies. That's unlikely to happen for years, sadly.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Mini Review: Badger Sport Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Cream

This sunscreen has 22.5% non-nano un-coated zinc oxide.
Sadly, while this is effective protection and is supposedly ocean-friendly, the super thick texture - thicker than Neutrogena's popular Drytouch sunscreen - makes it a pain to apply. I'll be happy when I finally use up this tube.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Testing out Revlon ColorStay Overtime in Bare Maximum

The color is a nice neutral MLBB for me. So far I've worn it for an afternoon and evening - it wore off but didn't become visibly patchy. Next, I'll see how it wears for a full day.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Mini Review: Kai 119 metal nail file and Ducato ceramic nail file

Thumbs up on the Kai 119 nail file - it's quite strong and makes it very fast to file my nails.

Thumbs down on the Ducato ceramic nail file - it has gotten quite dull with regular use and is no use anymore; I think I'll have to toss it.

Really enjoying JoJo's new song "F*** Apologies"

Mini Review: FRESH Tinted Lip Balm: Fig

Love the color! A plummy brown color with silver shimmer.
There is a slight scratchiness to the formula - probably because of the shimmer. The scratchiness does get annoying after a while, even though the formula is still nicely emollient. I will enjoy using this mini size up but the next time I purchase I'll try the Berry shade for color and less scratchiness.
Packaging is great but you're paying for that with this pricy product.