shoe has found it....

ooohhh man, shoe was all a lost-babe-in-the-woods, down to his last nickel, cold. wandering the wilds of ginza, looking for meaning in it all.. and a little chashew on the side. shoe spotted some ramens, yes, very well, but he knew if he just wandered a little longer, he might find the unknown. and then the clouds parted, an' shoe tumbled into JANGARA.

behold! shoe can now die in peace! jangara's a magic place, with wee owls, fiery 'lil mountains, and bee-yoo-ti-full ramen. the quintessential kyushuu tonkotsu ramen. and not thick like you'd think! nice n' assari, with all the hearty goodness of the genre. shoe got the works, and went to town. big, jibbly-jubbly chunks o pork, fine smooth noodles, menma an kikurage dancing in harmony, an an unseen but not unwelcome dollop of mentaiko adding a little FI-YAH! to the bowl.

you know that point in the bowl, when you're aboot halfway down, and you've polished off almost all the noodles, and you pick up the bowl in your meaty paws and take a long draught(a gulp, swallow, or inhalation, call it what you like)? shoe savoured that moment today, special like. manomanoman

fellas, there is a new reigning champion.

the egg was a little hard.... shhh!


ok, so shoe's got the tee-vee on, glancing at some sort of cookin' show, with flava girl o the month yuko ogura. not all that excitin' in itself, but the fun begins wit her plug for her new DVD, called ポッポポーン! .... now, shoe is sure ms. ogura is a virtuous n pure girl, but one can't help but think wotta boost in sales this vid is goin' to get when boobs read the english translation.... fellas, shoe presents..

tee hee hee!


another one bites the dust at shinatatsu, this time the setagaya kumo. waaow wotta thick soup! like snot, but in the good way. so thick that it was more like a sauce than an actual broth. somethin about that an the flavour reminded shoe of alphagetti, only with less tomtatoey goodness, and more of the garlick attack. the best bit was the chunky lil slabs o chashew in the mix. strong, long flat noodles rounded oot a decent lil bowl.

now, as shoe was about half way through, he realised he had made a fatal error... no EGG!! gawd damn, when shoe saw the kid next to him gettin a nice orangey half cooked egg of goodness handed to him by his momma, he half considered distractin' the little booger and swipin' the thing. shee-it, how could shoe be so dumb?

artists' rendition of said egg..

o the folly!!

workin' class ramen

the fuufuu from chitosekarasuyama, tonkotsu version. a true rootsy ramen. no frills, flashy bowls, or 'concepts'. did all that shoe asked of it, a quick fill for a long slog ahead.

shoe did notice a certain somethin' in the bowl, couldn't peg the taste. was it citrusy? yuuzu? well, shoe was gettin' all curious n stuff, so on the way to the can, he took a peek at the backroom... what did he see?

a giant slab o' chashew crawlin' with roaches.

just shittin' ya! HAR. the mystery taste will remain so for a while yet..

fuufuu also has a nice 'lil manga library to keep ya occupied while ya slurp. read on!

nantsu-tei : jumping the queue

another wednesday in shinagawa. rain. damn, shoe was not liking how this day went. well, there is the ramen to look forward to... now, iff'n you've been scoring at home for the past few weeks, you know shoe's been tackling the shinatatsu, a whole whack of ramen shoppes, all sys-tematic like. working down the line, all business. but when shoe wandered in today, the usually loong line at nantsu, all short-like n all on account of the rain, he had to pounce. the end of the line, the build-up to the best of the best all for naught! well, as it turns out, nantsu is all about gratification delay.

shoe made it inside about 15 minutes (prolly less than half the usual time, thanx rain-gods!) after smanking in line, and the first thing to hit was the smell: roast beefy, garlick. yeahhhh... then the line for the ticket, shoe went for the chashew-men... mmmm.. lotsa towel-headed earnest young men rushing aboot, precision in the chaos. shoe plunked down, and was looking for a bowl right away, but no! still a wait. in the meantime shoe read the on-counter literature.

nantsu is one of those places that are fussy about how you experience the bowl, with a helpful guideline to make sure you get the most outta your ramen experience. inhale the aroma. sample the noodles. dunk the chashew deep into the works. take your first breathless sample of the soup. commence. now, shoe is a soup-first kinda guy, but inr epsect to places that are serious about their ramen, he decided to go for the noodles first.

the bowl came. inky smanky blackness in the broth, faintly staining the bowl. noodles hidden. chashew beckoning, the nori an afterthought. seeing this, and with the roast-beefy smell in mind, shoe thought of the haorai. well well! another black-heart ramen! shoe dug in, noodles, chashew, soup. man o man o man! bowl of the year! (so far..) the soup was like a mix of the haorai, as in the roasty-beefy sense, and yet had the qualities of the creamy goodness of long-departed
akadaigo. whoa. the noodles, straight n thin. the chashew, while not the best, certainly held its own.

after finishing off the bowl at nantsu, yer supposed to get up, put the bowl on the counter and exclaim UMAI-ZE BAYBEE!!! a colourful, yet helpful character is on hand to show you how..

now these guys know how to rawk a ramen joint..

knocking down the rest of the ramens in the shinagawa is going to seem all anti-cli-mactic-like, shoe reckons.. to steal a wee fark cliche...with nantsu,

(forgive the cheesy-mad paint skillzz)

unchi dame!

spotted in th' machi... don't be doin' the unchi, fuckers!


workin' down the line at the 'ole shinatatsu, shoe strolled into sinasoba, and pro-ceeded to have some mild shoyuu wit his daily crossword. the fact that the crossword took more of shoe's attention than the ramen was not lost on shoe after finishing off the bowl. some real nice chashew in the works, but the best bit of this bowl was the soup, which reminded shoe of a great bowl from bakuen. all the elements felt so familiar, yet it was like eatin' an unworthy variation on a great original. still, it is a respectable bowl, all told.

**side note** the 'ole shoe got tickled by google sometime last week, give it a whirl! wee!


'ave a look at that mug. this is the shoe this mornin' after gulpin' down a couple o these..

man, this has gotta be the biggest caf rush shoe has had since importin' all that ephedrine a waay back

knockin' em down..

the next in line at the shinatatsu is the saijo. this is their 'densetsu shio', LEGENDARY, apparently. nice katamen, nice shio flava. hmm... what else. passable chashew. another selling point was the bowl itself, some sorta phonky glazed pottery-thingy. yeh. the bowl.

so, as the two of youse may've noticed, the shoe was not as excited about this ramen as other things goan' on. you may've also noticed the size o' the piccy has changed. now if you take a step back and think hard, it may come to you that shoe has made a change or two in the photo dept. that ain't much, but the bran' new fone that the shoe shipped hisself is somethin' else to get excited 'bout. turns out, you see, that one of the new function type thingys on the fone (other than marginally bigger piccys) is the ULTRA-RAMEN-GPS-LOCATOR!!! woop woop! yes, my piggies, the shoe can now just dial up a map of all the smanky ramen joints in his immediate vicinity AT ANY FRIGGIN' TIME. >groan< what does it all mean? how does it come about that the ramen gods have allowed poor little shoe such a wiggid homing device? yea, shoe is burbling all over at the prospect...

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