Jul 31, 2005

Slurp happy

NOTE: Someone once asked me what my dream job would be. My first response was to be a restaurant reviewer. I mean, what could be more perfect? I love to eat, I love to write, and I love to try new things. And how much better can it get if doing all these things was all on the company dime?

I once thought about starting a website that reviewed restaurants around my local neighborhood. I still may do it one day. But until then ...

Today, I decided to head into the City with my cousin and for some shopping and some Japantown explorin' because neither of us had been to J-town in eons.

And for lunch, we had the most awesome bowl of ramen at Sapporo-Ya. I may be a latecomer to the culinary wonders of J-town, but I'm telling you: This ain't your usual bowl of Top Ramen, Cup O' Noodles, Sapporo Ichiban, or whatever. No sir. This ramen is the best bowl of noodles and soup you'll ever have. I mean, better, even, than Vietnamese pho. This place makes the ramen noodles by hand and serves them up in big bowls of broth and veggies.

We got the tempura ramen, which was topped with - you guessed it - pieces of tempura shrimp, green beans, and squash. The fried tempura pieces were so light and airy and not greasy at all. I think that next time (and yes, there will be a next time, oh yes), I'll ask for the tempura on the side. Or I'll order the miso ramen, just because I loves me some miso soup.

The broth was perfect - piping hot, clear (I don't trust soup I can't see through), and so savory. The ramen noodles were done just perfectly, too. I hate mushy noodles, but these were just right; just firm and chewy enough.

We also ordered the shrimp okonomiyaki, which is an egg "pancake" filled with onions, shrimp (or whatever meat you want), and topped with some sauce and what looked like a big gob of butter/margarine. I first had okonomiyaki in Toronto, and have craved it ever since. But, I gotta say, a) it wasn't as good as I remembered, and b) the ramen was THAT good, that really, I wasn't even trying to get down with the okonomiyaki at all.

Anyway, if you haven't been, you gotta go. It's in J-town, in the Kinokuniya Mall section, sort of kitty corner from the bookstore. If I remember correctly, the ramen offerings were no less than $10.

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