Monday, September 13, 2010

Kujiraken ramen, Yaesu (くじら軒)

You've heard of this place Rokurinsha? Yeah, me too. I broke my promise to myself, shame shame, and tried to go again today. Sort of on a dare from You (who has actually been there once). At 3 PM, there were 27 people outside in line, and of course the inside was full. I went around the corner to the Yaesu underground mall, which has a ton of stuff, including this semi-famous shop from Yokohama, Kujiraken (House of the Whale would be a nice translation). I picked it because the noren looked bold and confident, which is often a good sign in ramen. They claim to be 'Yokohama Style', or maybe I misread the sign - the style isn't really Yokohama, but the head store is there.

Assuming the recommended thing is first on the menu, I just had Shina Soba. I'm guessing these jars on the counter are all the things that go into the (quite tasty) soup - tamari soy sauce, sake from Kaiun(!), hot peppers, seaweed, two kinds of whole dried fish, another kind of dried, shaved fish...not simple, for sure.

This sort of soup makes me think Tokyo-style, but then the noodles are too thin and straight for that. It was a good soup, let's be clear, although even the 'weak salty soy sauce' version, which I had, was almost punishingly salty. Well, soy + dried fish isn't going to be a delicate business. It was very drinkable, and the noodles very slurpable, and the pork very soft and sweet. On the whole, an easy bowl to like. I'm not sure if I'm just a sucker for this style, but the worst thing I could think of to say would probably be that there was more than a hint of 'instant ramen' about it. If you get stuck eating here, you won't regret it.

Unless you've got a salt phobia.

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