Sunday, June 4, 2017

Ramen Expo 2015 - Day 1

I had the afternoon off from work, and whenever I have a half day I think about what out-of-the-way ramen shop I can visit. This time I made my way to Tsumugu, popular shop in Minami Ibaraki.


Unfortunately I was way too late. They were long out of soup. Visiting Tsumugu would take more preparation. Fortunately, though, it was December, which mean that the now-annual event Ramen Expo had just begun in Banpaku. I walked from Tsumugu to the park, hoping to have at least one bowl of good ramen.

おそかったです!スープがなくなりました。また行く時にちゃんと準備せなあかんとわかってきました。でも、12月なのでRamen Expoが始まったばかりでした。万博公園まで歩いて行って、何かラーメン食べれるかなと思いました。

For this visit I decided my first bowl would be something light and easy to drink, so I would still be hungry for a second. I aimed for Due Italian, a shio shop from Tokyo with a soup base and chunks of cheese as toppings.


The Bowl
This was a strange experiment indeed. The broth at first was a standard shio; nothing too unusual except for how salty it was. It was really waiting for the cheese to be mixed in, forming a thicker ramen-style macaroni and cheese. The thin noodles too were quite slurpable, until they took in the cheese and turned a delicious, sticky gob. This was an interesting way to take a standard bowl and turn it into something unique.


For my next bowl I turned to Menya Yu, also from Tokyo, who showed up with a sweet shrimp miso bowl, a weakness of mine.


The Bowl
This was the exact opposite of the first bowl and exactly what I was looking for: a powerful miso hiding a nice shrimp subtext. The noodles were firm and carried the shrimp flavor well, but could have used to be a bit thicker given how rich the soup was. The pork, too, was a bit overbearing, and was easily outshined by the shrimpy soup.


Goodbye Tower of the Sun. I'll see you again.


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