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Monday, November 22, 2010

RYOGOKU: Komugi-Ya Ramen... Japan's friendliest grandma waitress with possible Ozeki Konishiki spotting!

Ramen Komugi-Ya ranked #2 in Ryogoku (Sumo-Town)... about 3 minutes from Oedo-line Ryogoku station.

Shoyu ramen starts at 650yen and Miso at 800yen.

Kimchee bean sprouts for free... you can ask for seconds.

Counter and Table seating. We arrived about 1:30pm and it was a full house.  Just lucky to sit at a table for four.

Went for the Osusume (Recommended) Negi-Miso Ramen.   If you like a thick, flavorful, filling ramen then this is for you.  It will definitely leave you stuffed.  I'd suggest adding the Kimchee Beansprouts (Moyashi) to the ramen for a slight kick.

Noodles were slightly chewy.  

There were posters of Konishiki's CD releases all over the shop.  Seems the ramen chef is very good friends with the former Ozeki Konishiki and he occasionally stops by.  The very sweet grandma waitress mentioned he is having his home in Japan renewed in the area... a bit of info she wanted to share. 

A gift from grandma... small flyer for Konishiki's Doskoi Dance CD.

SHOP: Komugi-Ya Ramen
LOCATION: Ryogoku Station (Sumo Town)
Address J: 東京都墨田区石原1-23-5
Address E: Tokyo, Sumida-ku, Ishihara 1-23-5

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NAKANO: Carthago Turkish Restaurant.... Overpriced Hummus y'all.

If you are new to Tokyo you MUST check out the Nakano area... there are so many tiny side street cozy local restaurants. But there was also a very noticeable mix of Black Suit Hosts (aka Crows) trying to lure salarymen into hostess bars.  Anyways...

It was all about the Hummus tonight.  Mari checked the Tabelog Foodie Rankings for Turkish Restaurants and Carthago was ranked #2 in all of Tokyo!  Japan has some amazing foods but finding Hummus can be an adventure.

Carthago had a very spacious interior and a great mix of Turkish/Arab dance tunes playing in the background.  First impression was the atmosphere was sooo comfortable and nice. 

Import beers start at 650yen... think this was a Turkish selection. Very smooth.

No smoking in this establishment... always a welcome sign.

Couldn't decide on one so went with 3 selections (Hummus bi'tahini, Baba ghanouj and a Spicey Tomato) for 1,500yen (@$18).  I guess its just Japan but the volume was tiny... I mean what can the cost of eggplant/chickpea/tomato actually be?  This will lightly satisfy your craving for Hummus but honestly Walmart brand ATHENOS beats this hands down. 

Pita bread for the hummus is 200yen per piece... we ordered 3 pieces.  When did somebody decide to sell this separately... I mean who eats Hummus without pita?

Should have taken a photo of the menu but a very light and slightly plain Turkish salad.  Can't recall what it was called but something that can easily be prepared at home.

Shrimp and Feta cheese... can i get more than 3 pieces of tiny shrimp please... and to our surprise the lazy chef left a nice long exposed poop sack on the back of the shrimp... for a bit of extra flavor?  

If you miss Hummus pls don't try to satisfy your craving here... you'll only be disappointed.  This place has only one waitress and one chef so I assume when its busy the wait for food can be quite long.  Looking at the portions we decided not to venture on to order more food... just couldn't justify paying any more money for mediocre food.

There is a big white NEON Panda on this road... just turn around and hit up the Ramen shop on the corner. 

SHOP: Carthago Arab and Turkish Restaurant
Location: Nakano Station (few stops from Shinjuku)
Address J:  東京都中野区中野3-34-3 
Address E: Tokyo, Nakano-ku, Nakano 3-34-3

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

SHINJUKU: Ramen Koh-ryuu... always a short line! Always... but always short!

Late night with the boys + Mari but a good friend of mine wanted to close the night with some ramen noodles. Hmm... there are quite a few in Shinjuku but had to check out that one spot that ALWAYS has a line of 3-4 people... not more and not less.  Ramen Koryuu.

The Ticket machine is located outside so just enter a little money and click away. REMEMBER that Japanese ramen shops always put their #1 recommendation on the top left corner :)

Tickets for ramen noodles and toppings.

They gave out this paper and asked us to circle 5 things that included how you wanted the noodles done, thickness of the soup, oil level etc.  They had English instructions too.

My ramen... So many dried garlic chips!  Can't get enough.  This was an extremely filling meal and well worth the walk. 

Shot of the noodles.

Char Shu meat.

Located on a very busy street in Shinjuku... A few minutes away from Gucci, Benetton or the new H&M.

SHOP: Ramen Koh-ryuu
LOCATION: Shinjuku Station
Address J: 東京都新宿区新宿3-22-3
Address E: Tokyo, Shinkuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-22-3

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RYOGOKU: Very Excellent Seaweed Shio Ramen in Sumo-Town

Ryogoku... aka Sumo Town!  I've been in Japan quite a while and it was the first time to exit at Ryogoku Station.   Got on the iPhone to check out Japans favorite foodie site for area rankings.  With a score of 3.63 I had to give Ramen MaruTama a try!

Salt (Shio) based ramen soup but something very unique... topping is a form of seaweed called Aosa. Its a very fine seaweed that has a very light flavor... a nice blend with the Shio-Ramen soup. MENU with photo's so you don't need to worry about any Kanji... just point.  I went for the one in the center.

Ordered the Aosa-Tamago-Iri (Aosa with flavored boiled egg)... excellent!  I always feel guilty to eat Ramen but this seemed very healthy.   For a die hard Tonkotsu heavy flavored ramen fan this was surprisingly good.

Counter seating for about 8 and two small tables for groups of 4-5. 

If you are checking out Sumo or the Sumo Museum in the area then sneak away for some Aosa Ramen... this place is well worth a try!

SHOP:  Ramen Maru-Tama Ryogoku
LOCATION: Ryogoku Station
Ramen Shop Website:  (MENU HERE)
Address J:  東京都墨田区両国2-11-1
Address E:  Tokyo, Sumida-ku, Ryogoku 2-11-1

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Monday, November 15, 2010

GINZA: HAGE-TEN Kushi-Age 800yen lunch special! (Weekdays Only)

Where in Ginza can you get a great Japanese meal at a reasonable price? It may leave you a little hungry but a visit to Hageten is a must.  Oddly its ranked very lowly 2.91 on Japan's top foodie site...hmm...
On the weekdays they offer the 800yen lunch special called "Saa-bisu-Ranchi" (Service Lunch).  But if you happen to be there on the weekend the 1,200yen is always available (plus u get few more sticks).

Lunch comes with tea, pickles, salad, miso soup and rice (you can ask for refills on rice for free).

Sticks will come one at a time.  Shrimp here.

Aka-Miso Soup (Red Miso)

This is Tofu with a touch of tiny fish eggs on top.

There is counter seating surrounding the Chef. A good view of the action.

Little fish.

Think this was a Scallop


Downstairs is the Kushi-Age (deep fried foods) but if you want Tempura thats on the ground level. 

Hage-Ten is located facing a very interesting ladies hostess bar...

Behind Chanel

Just look for Chanel or Apple Store in Ginza... shop is located behind this block.

SHOP: Ginza Hageten
Gnavi Website:  with COUPON!
Address J: 東京都中央区銀座3-4-6
Address E: Tokyo, Chuo-ku, Ginza 3-4-6

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

SHINJUKU: Keika Ramen... just filed for Bankruptcy so we gave it a try.

Mari told me about Keika Ramen's 500yen Tuesday special but I was never lucky enough to wander in front of this ramen spot on a Tuesday... So last night we watched a news segment announcing that Keika Ramen had filed for bankruptcy.  Might be our last chance to try it...

About 8 counter seats on the first floor facing the 2 ramen chefs.  There is also a 2nd floor.

Went for the 700yen Keika Tonkotsu Ramen.  Was expecting this Kumamoto style ramen to be a bit more flavorful and stinky... but it was actually rather light in flavor... and well, boring.  The noodles were very al'dente... guess they don't allow you to order the noodle variation (Kata-men, Futsuu, Yawaraka-men).

500yen Tuesdays.

The chef.

Teika Ramen's can be spotted here and there in Tokyo but I'd suggest trying 500yen all day every day Hakata Teijin Ramen.  But the experience of sitting shoulder to shoulder with the Japanese at this tiny shop might be memorable.  They'll ask you to pay first to have your $$ ready.  Oh and there are Photo's of the different ramens too.

SHOP: Keika Ramen Shinjuku East Exit Branch
Location: Shinjuku Station
Address J: 東京都新宿区新宿3-25-6
Address E: Tokyo, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-25-6

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