Monday, May 31, 2010

Genraku ramen, Kanda (元楽)

Kanda...where magic happens.

Mondays always produce disgruntlage and a desire to forget the office for an hour. Today I was thinking of trying to find a particular ramen shop that I loved in the past but isn't on any map, Yokohama-style in Kanda; found it but didn't go. As usual , I couldn't resist the idea of something new. After another 10 minutes of walking, I channeled onto this alley I'd never been in, then popped out on my recent favorite street in far-north Kanda, where I was faced with Genraku. Destiny. Can't fight it.

Speaking of Destiny ('s Child), the interior of the shop was not at all notable except that it was a bit dark and featured a little shrine to girl 'band' Perfume.

I'll tell you straight up that I had the 'special made' ramen (特製, is that an OK translation? I don't really understand the difference between categories like 上、特上、特別と特製. I've decided it's up to a restaurant's discretion how they use them, just like I learned last summer that unagi places don't follow uniform naming standards for their box sets.). As with a lot of ramen, 'special' means 'extra fat', but this was a good bowl by any standard. Check out the soup - that frothy opacity? The weatherman just called for you. He said it's cloudy with a chance of heart disease.

They cooked the noodles just right. A little fat but also square, strong egg flavor; excellent pork; great egg. In the style, whatever style it fits into, this is a very good bowl.

As usual when I order something like this, I tried to eat around the fat. It's funny, I think the Kuramae branch is the original (of 6), and if you look on ramendb you'll see it gets the highest score, while this Kanda outlet gets the lowest. The difference in rankings is notable - Kuramae ranks around 1,000 while Kanda is around 5,000. The db is up to 27,000 nationwide, so neither is criminal, but I can't believe there's that much difference between them. #1 is still that place Tomita up in Matsudo. I'm still surprised that I went to Matsudo, waited in line 40 minutes for taiyaki, didn't get any, and didn't get ramen either. Enough randomness for one post.

Weirdly, one of their branch stores is in LaLaPort Toyosu, so I've certainly walked by many times.

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