Friday, March 19, 2010

Byakuran, Kanda (白蘭)

Look, You was really excited to take me to this place, and I confess there was some attraction in the utterly decrepit surroundings and very happy customers. But I didn't really get it. My problem is simple: ankake.

If you're an American of a certain age, you may think of Chinese food as 'gloppy'. As in, something you scoop up with a scoop, and when you turn the scoop over, what you've scooped falls to the plate with a splat. Or a glop. Or some equally unappetizing noise. This is the bad Chinese food of my youth (mind you, I'm still waiting to taste really great Chinese food in my adulthood, so this could be a genetic bias).

Tantanmen are one of my favorite forms of noodle - spicy, sesamic,'s hard to go wrong with any of those, and together they're even better. The only thing that could ruin a nice bowl of tantanmen for me is if you glopped the sauce all up with a load of cornstarch so it was like eating noodles mixed with spicy wallpaper paste. And that's what Byakuran is famous for. There's a big wok full of it, simmering away by the door.

Not that it's bad, but I don't see the point, just like I couldn't manage to eat the separate bowl of rice that you're supposed to mix with the glop once the noodles are gone. (Indulge me in a Metropolis Moment, will you? 'After slurping down the delectable noodles, their shafts flecked with specks of blood-red chili, you will be offered a small bowl of rice to mix with the sauce. Accept. Then stir well, and savor the heightened aroma and texture that result from this favorable combination. As you sigh with contentment, you will look up to find the waitress knodding at you, knowingly.').

Right next door to Ramen Jiro Kanda, or the erstwhile Ramen Jiro Kanda, which still has a big ol' line despite it's erstwhility.

Is that a word? Can I use it in Lexulous?

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