Saturday, April 18, 2009

Gomaya, Monzennakacho

EOITwJ is in love, my friends. We went to see the object of our crush today (actually we didn't know we were in love until we arrived...):
Went here one time before and remembered liking it a lot; perhaps the only thing keeping us away was the fact that it's on the other side of the crossing, a little far from home when we need refreshment on a Saturday around lunchtime and walking seems...troublesome. But it fulfills a lot of the promises of cheap dining in Japan: stylish, interesting, delicious. You could call this ramen, you could call it tantanmen (I mean, the store calls it that, so you'd be well within the bounds of reason), either way it's really good.
First thing you'll notice if you're lucky enough to enter here: the heavily-spiced smell of eggs simmering on a little induction burner right at the front of the counter. The peeled boiled eggs are stained a deep mahogany [to this day, I can't hear the word 'mahogany' without thinking of that classic drama (no, not Diana Ross) Doctor Who - the beginning of The Sun Makers (Tom Baker, Louise Jameson as Leela) where the administrator says his desk is made from 'ma-ho-gay-nee'. You have to see it. Come over, I'll screen it for you.] that varies depending on how long they've been stewing in the assorted leaves and strips of bark. It's mysterious and seductive. I ordered one instantly. Yum.
Once you settle down from the smell of the eggs, you'll notice the weird bits. This is just a counter place, but they've got 50's and 60's jazz album sleeves on the walls. And a tube amplifier in the corner, driving Spendor speakers to produce quiet jazz of impeccable provenance. There's a whole genre of ramen places that love jazz...and this is one of them. For some reason it seems to go together.
But back to the noodles, huh. Does the picture excite you? These are the 'meat tantan' that they specialize in. Spicy sauce, fresh veg, you can kinda see how there are both fresh sesame seeds and a creamy layer of ground sesame paste... You can barely see how the roast pork is heavily simmered in the spicy soup to increase it's deliciocity. You can't see at all the straight, thin, firm ramen that hide underneath (like Ippudoh noodles), properly cooked so that they start firm and soften while you eat. If the picture doesn't excited you, I think you should visit and explore the reasons for this. Sort of atonement for your sins. Geez it's good.

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