11/13/2009

The Ramen Hunt is on

If you were busy indoors (wink,wink) on Tuesday evening congratulations because it was one chilly, rain-soaked, slap-in-the-face out of doors and when that happens I say-

It's time to brave the elements and pounce on the HOT RAMEN!

So Team Kyoto busted out the umbrellas, raingear and towels, waterproofed our cash and electronics, checked our coordinates, synced our watches, plunged into the deluge and made a very wet beeline to-

SANTOUKA!
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http://www.santouka.co.jp/

A huge global chain stretching across J-Land, extending into Singapore and all across the USA from New Jersey to Chi-Town to California, SANTOUKA is likely one of the more trendy Ramen Shops in K-Land (indeed is probably prominently mentioned in any guidebook you happen to be holding right now) and undoubtably the easiest to find. Take the Tozai Line or the Keihan Line (or any of the many buses that stop at Sanjo/Keihan Station) to Sanjo and walk up the stairs.

Congrats...you're there!

Don't be put off by its popularity (when we were there the seats were more than half-full with foreigners and there was more EiGo being bantered about around the counter than Nihon-go, a very strange sensation) because I'm here to testify that the ramen is up to snuff and done to a turn.
Tourist-friendly, easy-to-read Menus in English and a young, personable staff will get you through your order without a bump so relax and enjoy your Ramen buzz!

I might suggest the KARA-MISO.
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Lovely to look at and better to taste, this slightly spicy soup will warm your belly and soothe your soul so if you like a little flava with your noodles you can't go wrong.

I wrote that I might suggest the Kara-miso but you also will be delighted with the SHIYO RAMEN.

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A more traditional bowl with a more solid pedigree and an all-time fave of many of my J-Amigos, SANTOUKA'S soup was really superb- rich but not too greasy, solid but not too thick and loaded but not overloaded with goodness. Do yourself a favor and read the very interesting explanation for how and why they prepare their Ramen that is located at the bottom of your menu, it may add to your enjoyment.

A word to the wise- S's bowls, while certainly delicious, are a tad bit on the small size so if you are truly hungry I'd suggest getting the Large or at least ordering some of their very reasonably priced appetizers to accompany your noodles.P1010083.JPG
On weekends you might have to wait in line for the goods but on Tuesday we swam in and sat down without delay, so did everyone else, and when we exited the tab was light like a feather mostly because we only indulged in grub and skipped the adult-type beverages as is my usual practice in any Ramen shack.

Yea, of course they serve beer/beverages there but why the Hell are you drinking in a Ramen Shop?

Walk outside the door and there's only about 5 or 10,000 booze options within very easy walking distance!
Or as the Irish say-

“When I drink water, I drink water and when I drink whiskey.....I drink whiskey.”
posted by Billy at 12:58 | Kyoto (Japan)
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