Friday, December 24, 2010

Fukuchan Ramen, Tsukiji

Fuku-chaaaaaan! Over the summer I started running more seriously again (I think I can now declare that I've stopped again; it's been weeks. My knees almost feel normal.). While doing my Tsukiji route, I would go past Fukuchan, across Harumi Dori from the Tsukiji market. I was running at night, and the huge red neon logo of Fukuchan always made me want to stop off for a bowl. Plus it's Hakata-style.

When I needed to meet Hikuzo to pick up my Christmas fish (thankyouthankyouthankyou), it crossed my mind that I could try this. As expected, it's very much a working-man's place - they have lunch sets, and it's all 'bowl of ramen + bowl of rice with toppings'. They do get it together with the Hakata style though, bringing in other famous things like mentaiko rice for the sides.  I'm stretching here, because I forgot to get a picture of the outside. Oopsie.


I like a Hakata-style place that knows which side its bread is buttered on, and that side is the side that offers free spicy, pickles, and garlic on every table. I've never seen 'bala mentai' before; it's basically spicy paste with some fish eggs in it. Even the pickles had some fish eggs in them.

Aaarrrrrrr. This soup was decent; it's good when they keep it quite light and clean. The chashu was straight up bad though. I ate one piece and regretted getting the extra, but I was hungry.

Noodles don't even deserve much mention. I was a little offended that the waitress didn't ask how I wanted them. Just assumed that was shop policy until the guy who came in behind me ordered and immediately got the 'katasa' question. Harrumph!

This puts me in mind of something from last night (out of chrono order - I mean the 27th since I'm writing on the 28th). This web site is a fantastic resource for finding 'hidden mountain onsen', but you can't avail yourself of the convenient English functionality. I searched some dates and got 1 result in English...but 27 in Japanese! Anyway, not a problem, clearly.

That's the price you pay, eh?
03-3545-6005



As long as we're down there, how about a random picture or two of the market? I tend to meet Hikuzo here, inside the gate next to Kachidoki Bashi.

The turret trucks are still funny, no matter how many times you see them. I thought this bit of warehouse was the styrofoam compression plant (they go through a LOT of styrofoam coolers in a day, and I think they crush them for recycling), but with the logos and stuff, maybe it's just the home of Number One Water Sellers (第一水産), along with Toto one of the big 7 wholesalers that rule the market.

And this was the reason for the trip (other than seeing my friend, of course!). It's a side of walasa, a young yellowtail, already mostly cleaned and cut. This was delicious, as were some of the other tidbits I'll post later.

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