Monday, February 21, 2011

Good Slurps - Jangara Ramen!

Its been really fun to have my friend Natalie visit me in Tokyo. She is one of my best friends from college and even though college seems like it ended yesterday, this actually means that we have been friends for 10 years!

This is Natalie's first trip to Japan, so there are some things she must see, like Asauka Temple and Meiji Shrine. And there are some things she must eat, like .... ramen!

When in Rome ... Pose like the Japanese and eat like the Japanese!
Ramen chefs hard at work still have time to pose for me ;-)

Jangara is a famous ramen shop serving Kyushu-style ramen (specialized in tonkotsu or pork-flavored broth). There are about five Jangara Shops in Tokyo and we visited the one located near Harajuku station. We had the ramen gods on our side, when we got to the store there where only 8 people ahead of  us and two minutes later the line of people behind us was turning around the corner.

Jangara's menu is set up so you can customize in to ways. The first is the amount of toppings you get and the second is the level of spiciness. Natalie and I decided to go with the Jangara classic with all the toppings. We sat down and waited patiently for our ramen while these nice little plastic ramen bowls kept us company.

Then our ramen arrived, it was so good! This is by far the best ramen I have had so far on this particular trip to Japan and I am happy to report that I finished my bowl. There where two things in this ramen that made it so memorable. The first was the broth, its is incredibly flavorful and rich but not overpowering or too heavy. The second was the generous ball of mentaiko (spicy roe) that they added to the ramen. It was tasty, went really well with all the other flavors and gave the ramen a nice spice kick.

Anatomy of Jangara Ramen

The chasu was good, it was very thick and sweet in comparison to all other chasu I have had. It was a little too sweet for me, so I could have used only one piece of chasu instead of two but needless to say it was very nice and interesting. The egg I am sad to report was not soft boiled, so it was nothing special. The noodles were very think and not curly, I could have had my noodles a little bit more al dente (note to self: need to learn how to request that in Japanese).

A closeup of the deliciousness
 We clearly where on a roll with the food that day, because we found a very tasty Anpan store in Omotesando later that afternoon. We shared a white bean anpan and it was delicious. The crust was thin and crisp and the bean paste was warm and not overly sweet. Not only as the anpan good but the shop was really beautiful too.

The anpan shop. I wish I knew its name!
Beautiful anpan molds
White-bean anpan

1 comment:

  1. Love the cartoon bubbles to illustrate the ingredients. Very manga! Wish I was there!!