shoe was careful to approach downwind, so as not to disturb the natives. his scent was masked by the smell of deisel and garlick. imagine, actually getting a glimpse of them close up at feeding time! shoe had been in the area for a couple of weeks, adopting the same manner of dress and making sure to accesorize correctly: white shirt, black tie, sensible shoes, tote-bag. shoe forgot his glasses, but perhaps the subjects would be too busy feeding to take notice.

shoe took a deep breath before entering; would his cover be blown? short of constructing a blind of some sort, shoe was at a loss at how to approach any other way.

inside, all seemed to be going well. the television, locked onto world cup coverage and fund scandals, had them all transfixed on one point. shoe chose a corner and sat back. 'yes? food?', an english voice. foiled! the service were on guard, and almost alerted shoe's presence to the room. a quick 'ramen' in the language shoe had carefully studied for ten years seemed to mollify her. smooth, shoe, smooth. now just sit back and act like you belong.

the bowl was taking quite a while, and with a break in the telly, the natives started to chat amongst themselves. maybe shoe was going to pull this off after all! glances here and there were to be expected, but shoe just took off his tie an' pretended to fuck around with his cell phone, a tool that is widely used in these parts.

now, the moment of truth. the bowl, and the pic to snap. timing was everything. >ku-lick!< the faux shutter went off. got it! some haggard old codger looked over, but was too buggered to do anything about it. now, to the bowl! so this is what salarymen eat..

the bowl: wanky noodles an lots of them in a weak ass nondescript broth. shoe ate up quicklike an got the smank outta there, the pictographic evidence in his hot little hands..

three monkeys smoking for the kawakami. useless!

now dat's more like it!

down an oot in the ichigaya, shoe was rolling thru wit a full head an' a empty stomach. perfect time for a bowl, eh.. here comes the menya no shono.

shoe had a good whiff when he gots in the joint, an' fishy indeed it was. the fish base broth aint usually what shoe goes a-seeking for, but it was lunchtime an the place looked respectable-like. more smoove jazz (what is it wit ramen joints and jazz anyway?), an some young hotshots behind the counter taking orders.

shoe went for ramen, straight up, although the ninki namba wan (thats top o the pops for you dummies oot there) was the loaded. anyhoo, the bowl comes in asari or kotteri (again, thats lightor heavy for ya dum-dums), wit shoe takin the low road.

they bring the fish, hard. This one's goin down in the books as one o the most original ramens that the shoe has evar gulped down. in the ichigaya, menya no shono is wiggid-like. the broth was soo fishy it was almost, how you say, sour. an normally you be hearin' the words 'sour fish' together an you aint likin' it, right? but, maing, this bowl had a little bit o' some-ting innit. shoe didnae even remember the noodles or the toppins or the nekkid titties in the newspaper o the old mens in the joint. the bowl, the bowl was the thing.

ya know that feelin' when you be diggin down on some katsuo-bushi an' you get a big glob, or wad of it between yer knashers, an a wee bitty bit o juice comes oot? yeah, shoe knows it too. well, thats sorta kinda the thing we be looking at here, fellas. ah shee-it, just hit it an y'all see.

three knuckle dusters wit spikes onna top for the menya no shono. momma said knock you oot.

m'lord, your clothes!

wanderin' far an wide in the setagaya along the nogawa crick, shoe had his attention drawn to a legend in the ramen, the takechan. it'd been a while since shoe had hit a legendary bowl, an even tho' he'd already et, he figgered this was a good a chance as any to get some.

shoe wiggled in jus' before the rush, got a counterseat, an waited. takechan is one o those places with the line, the boogers from far an wide lookin to get theirs. well, we'll see what all the fuss is aboot!

mebbe shoe had a runny nose. or perhaps shoe was full an wasn't feelin' it. or possibly it was just that the ramen fairy had the day off there or somethin. man, shoe really wanted to like takechan, an all signs were pointin' in the right direction, but takechan just wan't all that. now shoe ain't sayin' burn the building down an kill the master for slingin' slop at the folks, but this is a heavy hitter in the ramen world, fellas, like we talkin' a top three in tokyo or top ten in japang kinda bowl!

there was just little or no flavor in this bowl. some two finger thick chashew made up for things a bit, an some noice thick noodles were a good touch, but shoe cain't see the logic. shoe thinks this is one o' those old school bowls that the boogers can say, "oh now this, this here is real tokyo ramen". the whole fishy base thing goin on, simplicity in the look an all that. well bully for takechan!

an what's wit the lame logo? shoe knows its all about the bowl, but c'mon! take-chan be ugly.

three false idols for the ramen gawds o' takechan.

under the bridge

Shoe had passed the chiyomatsu in the shibuya plenty o times, but always promised hisself that he would hit it 'next time' he was in town.. well, the other day turned oot to be the next time. shoe tucked into the joint under the bridge just offa the hachiko amusement zone.

shoe took this bowl down fastlike. an it was the kinda bowl that could go down fastlike. pretty light, no fuss, kinda on the shinasoba tip, mediochre egg n chashew combo did its bit an then got the fook outta town.

if yer in a press an needs to get oot of the shibuya crunch for a wee bowl, you could do better down the street, but for a quick fixin' the chiyomatsu will do. location location location!

three bunnies wit pancakes onna head for the chiyomatsu. jus' because.

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