Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Naruto Ramen, Kanda (七琉門)

I'm not a particularly diligent person. You scoff, but it's true. Only for those brief periods when I'm really interested in something can I really apply myself to it. Right now it's tsukemen. Which I don't even like that much; I just want to understand why other people like them so much (I think they're more popular than ramen for the last couple years, at least in terms of new shop openings and press. Prove me wrong, please.).

With Naruto, we have a provisional winner in the Kanda sweepstakes. This place opened in September but still has a few scraggly orchids hanging around (which they would have received as presents from their bank, friends, etc.). Inside is minimal but clean and bright - new ramen shops are definitely big on black, white and red these days. I bet there's a ramen consulting firm that tells them to do that.

Anyhoo, I had tsukemen again, and it was a mixed experience again. Here's a point-by-point rundown, in bullet form since I feel so...professional.
  • Noodles: Eggy, thick, curly. Came out of a bag, so not made there, and not really the focus. But OK.
  • Soup: Delightful, delicious, a real winner for me. At first I thought it tasted like liquid bacon, and I continued to love it right down to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Chashu: Disappointing. You'll be disappointed too when you hear that it wasn't actually roast pork - it was thin slices of boiled pork (as in 'cold shabu salad'). Pork fail.
  • Price: Low.
  • Special touch 1: The slice of kamaboko on the noodles was black with white detailing, not pink. Cool!
  • Special touch 2: The waitress said "Do you want the noodles hot or cold?" Mentally I screamed "Holy shit, do you mean I could have been asking for them to be hot at the last dozen tsukemen places too, and then I wouldn't have gotten all grumpy about them being too cold, and the soup getting cold, and, and, and..." but out loud I just said "hot". Noodle win!
There you go - great soup and hot noodles are triumphant. I think I liked it a little more than last week's Toki because the soup was more traditional, but just as flavorful.

The old ways are the best. But everything old is new again.

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