1. Train Station Ramen
On our first day in Tokyo, we wandered around Akihabara and found the restaurant supply district (which deserves its own post later) near Ueno. At Ueno station, we decided that whatever time our bodies thought it was, it was certainly time to eat something, so we popped into a noodle shop for sustenance more than anything else.
Just a plain miso broth with some pork. Maybe I had just forgotten how good this stuff really is, but this tasted so much better than something from a train station has any right to. It was definitely worth the few splatters I caused from my relearning chopstick skills.
2. Vending Machine Ramen
Next was another ramen of convenience. After a hard day's work, Dad didn't feel like venturing far from the hotel for dinner. Thankfully, the Westin in Ebisu happens to be right next to a shopping square, and there is an underground path allowing you to access the shops and restaurants without ever actually going outside. We found this in the basement level, it looks like the kind of place that would be packed for lunch on a work day.
What made this a little interesting was the way you ordered. Rather than attempting broken English and pointing with a waitress, you push the buttons on this vending machine, which spits out tickets for each item and takes your money ahead of time.
3. The Favorite Ramen
There was only one planned ramen stop on this trip, to the 'favorite noodle shop' located in Harajuku. It's just around the corner from Kiddy Land, an awesome toy store with several floors filled with Hello Kitty, Disney, and other toys. It's pretty much a given at this point that for any time spent in Tokyo, one day has to be devoted to Harajuku for shopping and ramen.
4. Cheesy Ramen
The final night in Tokyo, we didn't really have plans for dinner. So I Googled around for ideas in the area, and read about this place, Tsukumo, that did cheesy ramen. I didn't know whether to be intrigued or horrified. What I knew I was, was hungry. Dad approved of this culinary experiment, and it was an easy find just a few blocks from the Ebisu train station.
They start out with the rich pork broth, possibly with some of the parmesan rinds going into that process as well. And the noodles we know and love. Then, a 'Made in Italy' cheese grater takes a huge hunk of the stuff and grates it in a heaping pile into the soup. You add your plate of extras (egg, pork, etc.), and ta-dah!
Well, with the exception of when you walk into places that aren't restaurants, of course!
There you have it, another tale from Tokyo. It's taking me a while to get to everything, but I hope you're enjoying it, because I love getting to relive it weeks afterwards. Stay tuned for further installments of craft stores, food, and more.