Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Menemon, Kanda (麺ヱ門 )

Street food in a restaurant? Sure, why not. Lots of places want to bring the street food of other countries to Japan. While plenty of restaurants have fried noodles on the menu, not so many specialize in it. These guys are carving a little niche for themselves, and in a pleasant way. Though I can't help thinking yakisoba tastes best when eaten while you're standing in the street, surrounded by natives in festive garb, with the just-fried noodles burning your hand through the thin plastic tray.

This probably used to be something else - ramen, maybe. It's still a little cramped, and the fact that they have 2 cooks and 2 waitresses for a place this small is weird - leads to crowding even when there aren't that many customers. I like to think of this picture as a microcosm of modern Japanese life - the man disengaged and staring at his phone, the woman wearing a uniform and gazing wistfully out the window, waiting for a Korean drama star to take her away. I don't think they were actually in a relationship, but I haven't checked their Facebook statii yet.

Without further ado, I'll tell you that this was good, and bigger than it looks - the bowl was huge. The noodles were well-sauced and freshly fried, the cabbage was softened sufficiently, and the (extra) pork was abundant and higher-quality than a real street yakisoba. Tabletop condiments allowed you to add your own mustard, extra sauce, flaked seaweed, or red ginger. Satisfying when you want to fill up.

Keep it in mind.


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