Slowing down…

Day 302:

Okay, I think I need to take it a little slow today. Needless to say, last night was again one of those nights. I needed a cure. The Chinese restaurant down the street always seems to do the trick. This time I ordered the Canton Ramen. Thank you.

Being in the lazy mood that I was, I forced myself to get into work a little early. And since I was early, I decided to make my own shoyu-dare from scratch. It was okay. Paired with the tonkotsu soup, it kinda reminded me of Wakayama-style. Hmm…I could be on to something.

Shuga then proceeded to make his signature chinjaorosu. This seriously needs to be put on the menu. It contains our menma and our chashu so it’s unlike any other chinjaorosu you’ve probably had.

Let’s get big boss on the phone…


Day 301:

At 11am my doorbell rang and woke me up from a deep sleep. I thought I was dreaming, but when I opened the door it was the mailman with a package of…homemade cookies!! Hellll yeah! After joking around with Allison from Sushiday on twitter, saying that I wanted to try her homemade cookies and that she should send me some, she actually did! Allison you rock!! This is gonna be a great day.

Soon after ingesting half the cookies for breakfast, I headed out to Komagome to try Nishio (西尾中華そば), a shop that Brian raves about and one that’s been on my list for quite some time.

At first glance, it’s simple. The way a ‘chuuka soba’ should be. But that ordinary first sip gains momentum into an extraordinary last sip. The way every ‘great chuuka soba’ is. It began a little too sweet, but soon blossomed into a full flavored bowl.

The maize flour-laced noodles were great, but I would have loved something a little thicker with this soup. Anyway, if Nishio is alright with B, then Nishio is alright with me.

The buta-don is great too.

And this is how the rest of my day off went. As I left my apt, I was sent off by my favorite neighborhood cat (still haven’t decided on a name).

A quick stop to play with my nieces and their new dog, then I was off to have dinner…

…with her. It’s been over two months since I’ve had a normal night alone with her and it felt good to catch up over some tasty food at a Showa-themed izakaya.

Cheese-wrapped bacon is always a must-order.

No, she is not my girlfriend, but I will still only refer to her as ‘her.’ It’s a long story. Anyway, I tried to take her picture and this was the best I could do.

After dinner it was off to this quirky bar that only deserved our company for one drink. In other words, it sucked.

But right around the corner there was an awesome darts bar where we ended up staying until 3am. I thought I was pretty good.

But she kicked my ass.

The shop manager then provided us with some free passion…fruit, that is.

Now that’s some nice form…

After dropping her off, it was time for a Shuga-Boom reunion.

Alright, I’m tired. I’m going home. お疲れ!


Day 300:

As I planned to lead 300 ramen-hungry soldiers through the battle fields of over a million or so ramen shops in Japan, I looked behind me and there was no one there. They all succumbed to the beat of a drum. Oh well, I still got you guys right?

I was stuck riding around Sasazuka at probably one of the worst times of the day. The time where all the good ramen shops close between lunch and dinner (nakajime). And as much as I didn’t want to go to Nagahama-ya (博多ラーメン 長浜や), I ended up desperately entering for a slurp.

What surprised me most as I sat down was the all Chinese staff. Not that I really cared about it (I mean I’m an American working in a Tokyo ramen shop), but it just felt…different.

I ordered the Tokusei Tsukemen and after one slurp I wanted to retreat.

Disappointment was an understatement because I didn’t really have any expectations in the first place.

The egg wasn’t even hanjuku! So to prevent further damage to my already overworked fingers, I will stop from describing this tsukemen any further.

Time for a cleanse! that’s more like it.

Brian was in the house tonight and quickly became friends with these hardcore Hanshin Tigers fans just by saying, “I hate the Giants!”

Go Swallows!

Oh brother…

Day 299:

I slept for as long as I could today. And when I awoke, I felt like hangin’ with the brothers…the Nakata Brothers (中田兄弟).

I was in the mood for some anago-laced tsukemen.

Indeed this tsukemen was a treat. Slightly sweet, but strong enough to make your tonsils retreat. The tsukemen is definitely better than the ramen here.

The noodles are from Mikawaya Seimen so we all know that they’re good. They are the fat hirauchi type. 4 minutes and 40 seconds.

The sweetest part of all was the kakuni chashu in the tsukedare.

Inspired, I decided to take some of Shuga’s kakuni and blend it with our tondaku wadashi ramen. Woah!


Bring on tha Boom!!

Day 298:

Having exhausted all the ramen shops in my neighborhood, I wound up back at Tenhou to try their kotteri shoyu ramen.

Back fat galore!

It wasn’t bad. Although it looked oily and heart-clogging, it wasn’t at all. I actually wanted more soup. But I wouldn’t want to eat this very often.

Anyway, I have some news that I’ve been greatly anticipating to share with you. Meet Boom, the newest full-time member of Bassanova!! His full name is Tokubumi, but I prefer to call him Boom (as in ‘ramen boom’). He’s a Nikkei-American, like me, and has been living in Japan for the last three years. Apparently, he’s also been a fan of my blog since before I came to Japan and says I inspired him to make the jump into the ramen world. Awesome! For the past 3 months he had been working at what was L.A. Kohryu (now Kabuki-do). Boom emailed me a few weeks ago asking for the chance to fulfill our open position and after meeting him over a bowl the other day, I was inspired too. Then soon after meeting the rest of the crew, we all agreed that Boom would make a perfect fit. So please join me in welcoming him to the Bassanova crew! Good luck Boom! 頑張りましょう!!

Soon you’ll be dreaming about the green curry on a nightly basis.

And then…the boom will be felt around the world…


Day 297:

I woke up starving and all I had was this instant yakisoba, which happens to be my fave of all instant yakisoba’s. I really wasn’t in the mood to eat it, but I was too lazy to go out. These past late night’s have started to catch up to me.

Alright everyone, meet Cupcake–my niece’s new dog! Isn’t he cute? Yup, I said ‘he.’ When a 5yo wants to name her dog Cupcake, Cupcake it is (regardless of gender). haha.

At work I tried to experiment with a 100% tonkotsu tsukemen. FAIL!

Back to the drawing board…


Day 296:

In an effort to save a little money and some time, I’ve just been eating at local joints for the past few days. Today, I went back to Daiichigen (代一元) because I was craving their moyashi soba.

Caution: This ramen is super hot! I can handle slurping some extreme heat, but this one actually burned the roof of my mouth.

Back at work I ate some Kitakata Nama Ramen, also brought back by Komuro-san’s from her hometown.

Kitakata and Shirakawa both have similar types of shoyu ramen, both of which I really like, but I must say that if I had to choose I would choose Kitakata.

The shoyu aroma is heavenly.

And the noodles hold up well for being instant.

Now say hi to Komuro-san’s little sister, Chibikiro! If you ask me, they look nothing alike. haha.

Time for some Cratz!

Time for some sleep!!