Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ryouma Ramen, Jimbocho (竜馬)

A monotonous statement, this one, but I passed this place on a scouting mission several weeks ago. I think it was actually the night that I finally went to Fukumen, which was a happy night that will stay in my memory for a long time. I was struck by the dissheveled small-ramen-shop aspect it presented, and when I got closer I was drawn in by the glistening brown soup and lavish foreign-flavored presentation of the food.
Then I realized that they specialize in ramen where the soup is either tomato-flavored or consomme-flavored. Not that consomme is all that weird, but the absence of bones and the use of beef to make soup for ramen is very rare. I made it back today to sample the warez.
The menu is a bit hard to understand, but I settled on tomato-pork-cheese-yogurt-egg dipping noodles (seriously) and went in. Inside is small, dark, musty and cool - kinda the opposite of what I expected. Even the customers are a little musty.  Hey dude, wassssuuuuup?! That's right, I'm taking a picture of you!
Lo, the noodle approacheth. These are pretty nondescript noodles; this place is mostly about the soup and doo-dads. The soup is, I swear, made from pork bones and fish products, with a healthy addition of tomato. Just judging by the taste here, I didn't check. It's gotta lotta onions mixed into it, just softened but not melted. They advocate that you put some Tabasco, garlic, or grated cheese in it - your choice.
What's not your choice is the yogurt, which comes in these big, healthy dollops on top. I think this is to make it creamy without putting in actual cream. The pork deserves special mention since it was excellent, and I think the egg was pretty good too, just lost in the confusion of Italian-Japanese flavors that surrounded it. A surprisingly good bowl, one that had me drinking the soup at the end.
I posted a comment recently about the 'design features' in Japanese parks, and how I think they're typically designed to encourage homeless people to move along. I'm sure that would have offended some of my readers, if I had more than two (hi Mom and Dad!). Thusly, I present to you the evidence at left, which I saw on the edge of a park, next to a river and under a highway. Go ahead - tell me all these little bumps on the ground, in neat lines just a bit narrower than shoulder width, are there as an artistic statement.

And the yogurt?!

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