Thursday, January 13, 2005

chinese ramen

continuing this month's trip into japan food - as is the japanese way,i didn't get out of the office last night until 11pm, taro was stillworking and needed to come back so we decided to go for quick noodlesin a bar close to work. this decision was despite the fact that we'dalready gone to our favourite ramen noodle bar for lunch - the "ringerhut".

ramen is such an interesting food, as you know from tampopo and taro'sdiscussion about his and his brother's philosophy, ramen is deeplyrevered in japan. the bar that we went to last night operates in akind of niche, serving Chinese noodles. the essential difference hereis that the noodles are spicy. i do not normally associate Chinesefood with spice, but this is due to the fact that we mostly eatCantonese (south west) and Beijing (north) influenced food in thewest. other parts of china in fact have highly spicy food. when thechinese first came to japan, they came from the mountanous parts ofTibet (Titsen (sp)). this is one such region with spicy food.

the meal i had is called "tantanmen" (the "men" bit means noodles;hence ramen). it consists of thin noodles (overly thin for taro'sphilosophy and i have to admit not my favourite ... i don't have a philosophy yet!) served in a mild to hot soup according to taste. thesoup is left to cook over a full day, when you order a bowl, thenoodle is added to the soup to cook and served immediately. it wasvery good. two glasses of water and we were off in our separatedirections.

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