Saturday, August 23, 2014


Nagasaki! This year's Vernal Equinox Day meant a trip on the night bus to my second prefecture in Kyushu. Nagasaki is close enough to Fukuoka to mean there's good tonkotsu ramen around, but as any Japanese person knows, Nagasaki's famous dish is not ramen, but chanpon.

Chanpon is a gelatinous pork and seafood soup, filled with all sorts of vegetables. As compared to ramen, you might even say the toppings get the spotlight in chanpon; chanpon restaurants will often advertise just how much vegetables or seafood is floating in their bowl.

My initial thought was to head to the most famous and claimed inventor of chanpon, Shikairo, but a friend I met in the area dissuaded me and instead took us to local shop Tentenyu, strangely with the same name as a Kyoto ramen chain. I went for the special chanpon, which contained all of the toppings that were available.




The Bowl
This is truly a different beast from the ramen I'm used to. The soup fell onto my spoon on molasses-like drops; a slightly sweet if very fishy gelatinous mixture. As if not to be topped, the noodles themselves were thick, round and firm. It's impossible to go for a scoop of noodles without running into the myriad toppings: squid, shrimp, cabbage, oyster, carrots, onions, and more I didn't stop to glance at before I put them in my mouth. The variety within a single bowl was welcome, but towards the end as the toppings ran out, the concoction's overwhelming fishy taste took over.


Would I Go Again?
It was good, but next time I visit Nagasaki I have to try another location for variety's sake.


Should You Go?
Yeah, this was solid.



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