Sunday, March 27, 2011

Matsukaze ramen, Akihabara (松風)

When I first came to Japan and started at my new company, the most surprising thing was this: no laptop. After almost 10 years in consulting-related jobs, not having a laptop from work was like losing an arm. A not very useful, kinda heavy arm that you had to carry around all the time. It was pretty sweet not having one, actually. But I needed a computer. And thus I learned to geek out and build my own. In Akihabara.

It's getting time for a new computer, and I went to Akiba to poot around and look at parts, get some ideas for what was possible. You can't go to Akiba without having a junkfood lunch; I was thinking of the famous tonkatsu place, and noticed that Menya Musashi has a new branch too. Both of those had lines by the time I wanted to eat, and after far too much dithering (you know how I get when faced by an unfamiliar neighborhood and lots of tasty-looking choices). I went back to Matsukaze after abandoning it earlier, and was pleasantly surprised.

Turns out this is part of a small but respectable group - it includes Kibi in Kanda, for example (currently a final-4 competitor in the ramen championships, maybe decided by the time you read this). The inside also has the hallmarks of a place that's pretty serious about what they do.It's sort of industrial chic, that gives it away. The chef didn't seem too into it, but he was also there by himself, so there wasn't the usual opportunity to feed off group energy.

What they do, believe it or not, is veggie ramen - not really an Akiba thing, right, with all the junk food and otaku? Yet again I fell prey to thoughtless ordering and realized too late that the 'punch' ramen was a veggie-based Jiro style bowl.

This was a real surprise though. The soup is fish based, but then includes lots of vegetables, heavily reduced to get a strong flavor, and potatoes, which give it a comparable heaviness to tonkotsu. It's also damn tasty; obviously not from fat, but just from vegetable essence. That slice of pork was actually a disappointment and would have been better left the heck out. This is, as they say, 'Recommendable'.

Ya hear me? Right the heck out!

Well, not that it's any surprise, but another blogger was here before me, and it's Duckston.

No comments:

Post a Comment