At 11h30 in the morning Yasuko and I think about lunch. It is cold this morning and a nice steaming bowl of noodle may warm us up. Ramen it shall be.
You think ramen is a portion of egg noodles, in a broth with some other stuff in it? Think again…
Ramen is an art form. Every ramen shop has its little secret, a special broth, the perfect noodle, refined toppings and all of it cooked with pride and perfect timing.
We decided to skip hundreds of other good lunch options and headed for that one place with excellent rating recommended by the front office staff, for “miso ramen” à la Hokkaido.
If a ramen restaurant is good, you have to queue. No queue, no good. So we waited patiently for half an hour, moving one waiting seat to the left at a time whenever somebody was let in. Meanwhile we had enough time to study the menu to decide which ramen it shall be and to buy the appropriate ticket at the vending machine.
Of course, a restaurant with a meal ticket vending machine has hundreds of tables, right? No, ONLY 16 seats, that is!
The lovely waitress collects those tickets, give or take 2.6 minutes before our estimated time of access to the pleasure dome so that the kitchen can mentally prepare for the ramen ahead. The result is a minimum waiting time once you sit down at the table.
And here we go – noodle slurping. This is the moment when I love to glimpse over to Yasuko. The first few ramen followed by a spoon of broth and her face says it all. It said “oishii”, delicious. The world around it eclipses and for a moment, there is nothing but the steaming bowl and its temporary owner.
If you get a chance, give it a try: www.ichiryuan.com