Sunday, August 1, 2010

Yamagoya Ramen, Kiyosumi Shirakawa (山小屋、清澄白川)

Years ago I visited Yamagoya and pronounced it 'undistinguished'. On the other hand, I didn't have a clue about ramen. Now I can tell you with a little more certainty that it's a decent Fukuoka-style ramen.

The most notable things about it weren't in the bowl - both were out in the room. First, as is traditional with hard-core pork-bone ramen places, the fetid stench of boiling bones smacks you in the chest as soon as you open the door. With the temperature around 35 outside, it seemed extra strong. Second, the counter was populated almost exclusively by girls (9 in a row in this picture, including the one looking at the camera as if to say "Hey old man, what the hell are you doing taking a picture of all us girls?" Actually there's no 'as if' about it, is there? That's what she's saying.)

The soup is a little darker and a lot fattier than Hakata ramen. They actually put some chunks of fat in it, which is a style I don't love. Nice egg, very fatty pork, plenty of fungus. Pretty good.

And Kyushu ramen just isn't complete without a Kaedama, the second helping of noodles (I forget whether this was chargeable; it said 'free' outside, but they rang up the bill in a weird way). Usually I'd load up the bowl with garlic and spicy pickles...but both of those were conspicuously absent from the counter here. Weird, eh?

Yamaaaaaaaa GO!
Over at Akafudado, there was a tuna butchering demonstration. You don't get this in supermarkets in your country, do you?

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