Monday, December 8, 2014

AFURI (Tōkyō-to, Meguro-ku)

AFURI (Nakameguro-ten)

Yuzu shio ramen: 13 / 20 

I had been thinking for some time of contacting the two currently most active English-speaking ramen-bloggers in Japan, and I finally put myself to do it, sending emails to Brian from Ramen Adventures and Ben from Friends in Ramen. Both answered me quickly, and my new trip to Tokyo was a good occasion to eat some ramen with Brian. He had plans to go to the new Usagi shokudo, but it was closed on Monday, so we switched to nearby AFURI. I had been there some time ago, but was curious to try it again, in order to complete my current shio experience - although they unfortunately did not have a shio tsukemen (only a shoyu one). I ordered the classical yuzu shio ramen, in its assari, "Tanrei" version (you can also order a thicker "Maroaji" version), and Brian some special winter miso bowl.

Broth: Very simple, and the taste of yuzu, despite being the trademark of the shop, was rather subdued – weaker than at Hirugao!

Noodles: They quickly became too soft.

Chashu: Firm with some tasty fat (which could be more melting though), a good chashu overall.

Egg: Half of an egg with a very soft white and a nicely cooked yolk.

Toppings: The menma were thin, small, crunchy and extremely mild – might they be non-fermented bamboo shoots? The sheet of nori became quickly too soaked. They were also some mizuna, very light in taste.

Maybe I was a bit unlucky with my ramen on this day and the cook missed something in the dosage - in my memory (about eight months ago), it had a stronger yuzu taste. This bowl was not unpleasant but relatively standard, and saved by its relatively good chashu and egg. It would deserve a 14/20 with more yuzu or harder noodles, and a 15/20 with both, but you can find many better choices of shio ramen around Tokyo - like Shunmen Shirohachi, Hyottoko, Mendokoro Ginzasa or Menya Sou (review to come!). Brian's miso ramen was apparently not so tasty.

Anyway, we went to a cafe thereafter and had a great talk about ramen and philosophy - two of my passions in life, it case you didn't get it from the title of this blog. Was good to finally meet Brian, this guy is a real living ramen-encyclopedia!

More info on ramendb.

Other reviews: Ramen Adventures (new), Ramen Adventures (old), Ramenate, Ramen Love, Chubby Hubby, Gastrolust, Ramen Walker, Tokyo Belly, No Ramen No Life, Eataku, Do you even eat, Ramen Tokyo

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