Thursday, March 10, 2005

ramen review: Kuro Fune

Location: Komae station on the Odakyu line.

order: Salt ramen

soup: B (ok)
スープ: B (まあまあ)
noodles: A (excellent)
麺:A (美味しい)
pork: B (ok)
チャーシュー: B (まあまあ)

The noodles were excellent. They seem handmade and fresh. Slightly wider and perhaps a little thinner than the average. Tasty, chewy, all around excellent.

The soup was ok. Not bad. I wouldn't mind having it again. It's not as good as Santohka(山頭火)but not bad.

The pork was not bad. Again, wouldn't mind going back.

Next time I'll try the soy sauce ramen.

While enjoying my ramen, I reflected on the 3 main elements to good ramen. Of course , there are other aspects, but the core remains the soup, the noodles, and the pork.
Depending on the shop, the boiled egg, the pickled bamboo, and other portions can be important too.

So, I thought up "An Introduction to Savoring Ramen."

Before I begin, I should define "ramen." Although the Japanese often advertise ramen as a Chinese dish, it is a uniquely Japanese food. I haven't had anything Chinese like it, although it may exist in some part of China. China is a very big country so I haven't tried all the food there. Anyway, when I say ramen, I mean Japanese ramen. And I am focusing on fresh ramen, not the instant stuff that you buy in the convenience stores, although that can be an interesting discussion.

So, the first basic is the soup. The second basic is the noodles. The third basic is the pork. It is difficult to get all three right.

I like this shop in Sasazuka for their noodles, which are excellent. Their soup is ok, and the pork is ok (although the pork can be really good at times), but the noodles are yummy!

I like Santohka in Shimokitazawa for their pork and their soup. The toroniku is tend er and flavorful and is really delicious with their unique salt soup base. The noodles are ok. Average, in my opinion.

I like Sakura-somethingorother in Shimokitazawa for their eggs, and the decent tonkotsu soup. The noodles aren't bad either. But the eggs are the highlight; they are half boiled and the egg yolk is actually sweet, while the egg white is nicely salty. Really, absolutely yummy eggs. They have quite tasty gyoza too.