Sunday, April 18, 2010

Marukin, Monzennakacho (丸金)

Why is it that some places sit right near my apartment and never get 'the nod'? In the case of Marukin, it's because it looks so spartan from the outside, or that's what I thought. Why was I opposed to that? I'm not usually. And it was more clean and spacious than spartan, and I really enjoyed the ramen.

Looking at this picture, it doesn't look especially spartan to me. There's another customer leaving, a nice noren, menu, et cetera.

Inside is normal, except it really is more spacious (not pictured).

Considering that this is Sunday lunch in a chain ramen, we shouldn't expect too much. Everything is a bit sloppy in this Marukin Ramen (with added egg, which I'm told is not normal in Hakata style, but I don't give a gosh darn, and I did the same thing for lunch the next day too.). Still, I really enjoyed the light and porky soup, the noodles were pretty good, and the egg was decent. Oh, even the pork was a solid effort. I would guess this is an example of a chain shop getting the recipe right so that it would take some real effort to ruin it, and the cook on Sunday wasn't up to that challenge, so he produced a decent bowl of lunchy.

It occurs to me that I should compare this to Ippudo, both being Hakata chains (and really, the post after this one is going to be Yoshimaru 由丸, another Hakata ramen chain). The soup is more light and clean here, the noodles weren't as good as the usual ones at Ippudo (though of course this can vary every time, and I forgot to ask for less-cooked noodles), the pork was good but Ippudo often has outstanding the overall effect was a bit less heavy and tiring, but also less exciting. Oh, and Marukin is a few yen cheaper, but it doesn't matter so much at this end of the market.

Can I just say, in a purely purile way, that my favorite part of the home page is the anatomically genitalia on the pant-less cartoon mascot? No? I can't say that? Darn.

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