Monday, June 14, 2010
Fly~~~ me to tha moooooon...
[January 12, 2011: At the risk of ruining the purity and impact of this post, let me discuss the membership policy here. In theory it's members only, but I believe that's only applied at weekday dinners. On the other hand, I first went on a rainy Monday night, and no one blinked. When you finish your first bowl, they'll give you a black card with a sticker on it, silver for regular ramen and red if you got Dragon style. You get more stickers for 'completing tasks'. Once you have three stickers, you get a free topping with every visit. Once you get 5 stickers (which will give you a star or a gold sticker), you get two free toppings, including a boiled egg if you so desire, which is not available to lesser members. They make a big deal about it, asking you stuff like "Are you sure it's OK?" and saying "Wow, awesome!" when you finish. I'm sure it's not sincere, but it's plenty fun.
Getting the stickers is confusing though - they're not based on visits, they're based on attainment. Each sticker is one 'level up', i.e., ladle of salty sauce or scoop of spicy paste. If you walked in for your first visit knowing the system, as you now do, you could walk out as a starred member simply by saying "spicy 5 please". I've now eaten up to salty 3 and spicy 6; to my tongue that's about as salty as I'd want to go (we're talking 3 shots of soy sauce in a bowl of soup after all), but spicy 6 was very manageable. I'd estimate I could get to at least 10 without being at the edge-of-pain-meltdown I had at Kikanbo.]
[May 28, 2011: I finally got here for the '4th Saturday Creative Day'. It was shrimp wonton ramen day, with a soup boiled down from "20 kilos of dried scallops". In addition to being incredibly generous re: price vs. quantity and quality of ingredients, it was awesome.