Sunday, October 24, 2010

Edomae Miso Ramen, Monzennakacho (江戸前味噌ラーメン)

I say unto you, all of you, it's nice to have friends, and even better when they call you on a lazy Sunday to say "We're at your station. Howzaboutit?" "It" in this case was lunch, with noodles being the request. Perfect opportunity to hit the, er, new ramen place on MZNC's main street (probably 6 months already). It's a miso ramen specialist with a weird twist, as you might imagine from the 'Edomae' tag. I didn't imagine anything untoward until I saw the bowl.

But first there was the interior - new, clean, a lot of black, serious and pleasant staff, steady customer turnover.

This looks a little like a dump, now that I examine it visually, but when they put the bowls in front of us we all went 'ooh'. They're big bowls, piled high, and the nori in the back is a single sheet four times the size of a normal one. The chashu is thick-cut and grilled, which is how we like it, there's ground pork and fried onions and bean sprouts and something green. And if you look carefully, you'll see at last the Edomae touch - clams. At the risk of telling you something you all know already, the Fukagawa area was famous for the clams that grew in the waterways in the old days (and I'm digressing more, but if you're wondering why there were salt-water clams around there, you should remember that Eitai Dori used to be the waterfront - everything south of there is reclaimed). If you get a 'Fukagawa bowl' at a restaurant, it's going to be clams on rice. Presumably the soup here is enriched with clams too, but you couldn't tell over the broad miso flavor. It's a good soup. The noodles were very nicely chewy. You could eat all this and feel fulfilled, not overly stuffed or greasy, and quite happy.

At least, I could.

Incidentally, I got several good chuckles out of this New York Times ramen review, from which I learned that miso 'adds too much salinity' when you put it into ramen. I'd like to take the reviewer someplace like Fukumen so she could see what salty soup really tastes like.

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