Monday, November 19, 2012

For the Love of Men

'Men' as in 'noodles', naturally.
 
(Ah, I can just hear the disappointed sighs of naughty-minded readers).

It may be genetic, but my live affair with all things noodle-y is well-documented.

Starting with my least favourite, soba. Kansai is known as an udon eating area, and I have been heavily influenced. However, I have found two places with really exceptional soba. My favourite is unfortunately not in Tokyo, but rather all the way out in Karuizawa. Kagimotoya is deservedly famous, and right next to Nakakaruizawa station. The tempura set and sansai versions are my favorite.

The other is a fav of my boss's, which we often use to entertain visitors from abroad. Kawakamian takes on the noodles with a modern twist. For instance with duck-topped soba or, my go-to order, soba with a chestnut dipping sauce. I have never seen this dish anywhere else, and it is amazing.
川上庵 - 料理写真:ランチコースのせいろ(くるみだれ付き)。
Next on the list is udon. I eat it so often at home that when going out I tend to ignore it. By my great love is Tsurutontan, famous for their ginormous bowls, fusion dishes and extravagant interiors. My fav is the one amongst the host bars of Kabukicho, and decorated to match. They are open until 5am too, a great place to hang out if you miss the last train.

And finally, the king of noodles, ramen. The varieties are endless. For those seeking a curry kick Toratake in Kabukicho is really good, and unusually even has private rooms and a few other non-ramen appetizers. In the spring the vegetarian ramen and gyoza at Kagetsu are phenomenal and light. A weird but tasty combination, the cheese tsukemen place hidden beside the tracks of Nakameguro station is worth a try.
Mmmm, tasty, convenient carbohydrates.

And speaking of convenience, here are a few recent finds. The vending machine is in Daikanyama, and I think it speaks volumes for its location. I mean, I often regret the lack of guava jam in ordinary jidouhanbaiki...

The other is a drink I recently came across at the *gasp* convenience store. Yes, even I occasionally succumb to the 24 hour charms of the combini. It can be hard to get enough calories after a session with the orthodontist, as the pain of chewing puts me off. But this glorious, sugary, protein-filled 'latte' does the trick. Perfect before a long night run with the Hash. 


12 comments:

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    1. I have no idea, although the other contents are also unusual(sparkling water, root beer, Okinawan tea). It must be a privately owned one.

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  2. It is my considered opinion that the best winter dish in all the world is hōtō udon from Yamanashi. Ever had it?

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  3. Man, if I could just get some jam from my local vending machine, life would be perf lol

    I have such a weird love/hate relationship with noodles. I pretty much stopped eating them for the better part of a year, but I've recently become hooked again (udon and yakisoba, with the occasional ramen). Nom nom.
    My absolute favorite though is somen..!! Ugh, I just wish it were summer so I can eat it again :< What do you think of somen?

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    1. I like somen, but may have overloaded over the summer. Hiyashi chuuka became a replacement ^ ^

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  4. That almond chocolate latte looks great. How many grams of protein does it have?

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    1. Hiya! I cannot remember exactly, but enough to power anyone for hours^ ^

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  5. Almond latte? Hmmm. I'm always sucked in by the strawberry milk from teh conbini, brings back childhood memories! And, our noodle preferences are total opposites! Keep your ramen, I'm a soba girl! I even take in a lunchbox to work in the summer, with dashi in a little bottle!

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    1. I will need to try that! I have only ever taken pasta for lunch, but this would be even easier (^∇^)

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  6. I was addicted to the almond drinks when I was living in Japan. Luckily I never saw the chocolate almond one.

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    1. I know the feeling, I have the same problem with the vending machine coffee...

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