Thursday, October 28, 2010

Umauma ramen, Tokyo (うま馬)

Sorry, I was with a colleague (You) and forgot to get a picture of the exterior. This is tucked into a corner of Tokyo Station's Kitchen Street, so you should be able to find it without much trouble. Not that I'm advocating finding it, I'm just saying.

Didn't even realize it's Hakata ramen until we went in and it said so on the sign. From the pictures outside, I was expecting miso ramen. It's a branch of a shop in Hakata, not a chain - only 4 shops, I think, with the others being around Hakata and this the only 'foreign' one. I liked the interior pretty well - it's cleaner and snappier than the average Hakata place. But mostly I just like trying to take pictures of strangers...

The set lunch is a couple gyoza and a bowl of ramen. The gyoza were probably the high point, actually. This bite-size version is nice because the ratio of meat to wrapper is lower, which I like. I was also impressed that they have jars of yuzu kosho at every station, which is a pretty extravagant thing to give out like that.

You and I were not impressed with the ramen. The soup was bland, and the noodles are a funny shape specific to this shop (like Inaniwa udon - light-colored, thin but flat, like delicate fettucine). The condiments came in yet another configuration (I don't know why I expect Hakata places to have the same condiments - they're all different. But there's one way I want it to be.) - huge bins of takana that were pickled but not spicy, small trays of chili paste, no garlic, no ginger. In this case, a healthy whack of garlic would have made the soup much more pleasant.  Oh, just to be fair, the pork was good.

There's not much danger that you'll go here, but anyway let me say I don't recommend it.

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