Friday, August 27, 2010

Daito ramen, Kanda (大斗)

[Nov 29, 2010 It is with no great sniffling that I alert you to the closure of this establishment. It's now a 'salt ramen' specialist.]

Restaurant politics are interesting in Japan. There's a concept of family trees, and places can proudly advertise the fact that they derived their expertise from a famous parent. Do they pay for that, or do they just apply for the privilege, and is it only granted to star pupils? Daito is pretty up-front about their lineage from the famous tsukemen shop Taishoken, not to be confused with other places of the same name. They even say it on the curtain outside, which is a pretty up-front way of doing it. This should mean the tsukemen are good...

Inside they also have a poster describing the lineage of Taishoken and where they fit into it. But more importantly, they have some big-ass pots. If you've read other ramen posts, you know I love the fact that tasty, tasty food comes from these industrial pots and grease-stained counters. I never get tired of that.

Unfortunately, it's pretty easy to get tired of tsukemen in this style. The soup is fairly thick, and in this case has a good balance of the sweetness that can easily cloy in lesser specimens. The interest level increases even more with the hearty helping of dried fish flakes that go in (it really tastes like katsuo dashi). For me, this is just a good example of an essentially iffy style. As is common at this sort of place, you can get a couple serving sizes of noodle for the same price; this is the middle size. As is common for me, I can't see why you'd want to eat a mountain of noodles like this, unless it was purely for volume. It's impossible for the soup to stay even a little warm down to the bottom of a bowl like this.

You're thinking I should stop trying to eat these, aren't you? I can't disagree. Looks pretty good though, doesn't it? I hope you'll sympathize if I get sucked in again, especially if it's something well-known and tasty looking (Rokurinsha and Tetsu spring to mind).

STILL not really my thing, but this was a good version.

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