Friday, January 28, 2011

Touran ramen, Kanda (桃蘭)

It's an ill-advised wind, my friends, one that blows in from Kanda. It blows you down little alleys like this and into shops that aren't likely to be very good. There's a certain romance to seeking out hidden gems, but this is Tokyo. Depending on your reckoning there are 9 to 50 million people, and a lot of them like eating out and seeking out hidden gems. If they aren't talking about a place, it tends to mean it sucks. They aren't talking about this place, but I still got some enjoyment out of it.

Mostly because it's like Hope Ramen, dingy and tinged with grime, but in a soft and warm way. What did that mean? The plastic curtain separating the counter from the kitchen is odd; they want to spare the customer from the fumes and heat, or they're embarassed about the bare brick back there, or they have a clientele that wants privacy, and a blank curtain is more private than having to look at someone cooking? Disturbingly, the smell kept reminding me of my grandmother's kitchen, and if you were ever in that kitchen, you know I don't mean that in a good way. Fortunately I can safely say that only two readers know what I'm talking about.

Travel photos can be so generic. For instance, last night I read an article about Budapest, or perhaps Istanbul, and looking at these tiles now reminds me of that. Of course, I haven't been to any of those cities. It's probably my imagination that's generic.

They have ramen. They have some Chinese basics. This is the ramen. It's basic. As this basic ramen goes, it wasn't bad at all. The noodles and soup were almost good, while the pork was terrible (just in an overcooked, tough sort of way), and the nori made me feel a little queasy. The overall effect doesn't compare unfavorably to someplace like Sakeya Milk Hole, which is a little famous. I'm not saying this should be famous, I'm just saying. Nothing here is going to inspire you to fits of flatulent exultation.

They offer a bunch of sets of Ramen + Chinese Basic. This is the Chinese Basic portion of mine, a version of mapo tofu. It's only once a year that I feel like eating something with ankake, the thick cornstarch sauce that characterizes vile Chinese food to me. This wasn't that day, and the burgundy translucence of this sauce combined with the slimy texture to make the overall effect a bit vile. With tofu and rice it was edible, and once the tofu was gone I stopped. Just like this review, right here.



  1. You met it on a Friday and it stopped your heart...

  2. Jon, Perhaps you are suffering from "Chung King" syndrome--from eating that vile stuff out of a can as a kid. My wife definitely has it, too.