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Thor writer Jason Aaron foodhazing me with a Chicken Z-Man from Oklahoma Joe’s in Kansas City…
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Speaking of ramen, I’m surprised no one thought of this before!
Thanks to The Hungry Tiger for sharing the image.
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I have two favorite places where I go to eat ramen when I’m in Tokyo.
The first is always Jiro!
You see, if ramen is a religion, Ramen Jiro is the shop the most pious go to worship at. It is Tokyo’s temple to noodles and soup. And I went to pay my respect yesterday morning.
There are usually lines of the faithful wrapped around the building, but we timed our visit to arrive right between the breakfast and lunch rushes.
When you get to the door, you place your order at a vending machine. Your choices are limited and simple: Ramen, Pork Ramen, Large Ramen, Large Ramen with Pork, and Large Ramen with Double Pork…
The man who the people come to see… Yamada-san, the Pope of Pork at work!
My colleagues decided that we had to go big or go home. If we were going to come all this way to taste the true path to heaven, we had to do it properly. So it was Jiro’s Holy Grail, the large ramen with double pork, for us…
There’s a secret to ordering at Jiro though. Five sacred words you must utter when giving the master your ticket: “Yasai Mashi Mashi Niniku Karame”. This lets him know you’re one of his loyal flock and gets you a heaping topping of moyashi beans, garlic and abura!
And they don’t skimp on the garlic as they consider it key to the taste!
Fat is indeed flavor!
The other thing that keep people coming back to Jiro in droves is the extra thick homemade noodles. See for yourself…
The shop’s acolytes believe that Jiro has transcended ramen. They say, “Jiro is not ramen, Jiro is Jiro”.
While I’m not the most religious person, having now eaten the noodles and drank the soup from the Bowl of God, consider me converted… yet another disciple of Jiro!
Originally blogged in June 2012.
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The Ramen Lab boys were at it again in New York City this weekend, bringing their notorious noodle know-how to a one-night-only pop up inside SakaMai, the Japanese sake lounge on the Lower East Side.
Curious customers gladly waited over a hour to taste the three original ramen dishes that Chef Naka, Kenshiro and George (from right to left) whipped up in very limited quantities at the event! Here’s a look at what they served…
Lower East Side Miso Ramen with bean sprouts, nira & ground pork…
SakaMai Umeshu Hiyashi Chuka…
A refreshing cold noodle dish for summer with pork, egg and cucumber that came with a glass on plum wine you poured into the bowl…
And my hands-down favorite, their Gyudon Mazemen, which used a classic Japanese “beef bowl” as inspiration…
Grilled beef with a poached egg that broke perfectly over the noodles and provided the sauce for the dish…
Mix it all up…
Might not the most appealing bite to look at, but it tasted like heaven!
Keep an eye on http://sunnoodle.com/ramenlab for future events!
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Speaking of Japanese burgers, McDonald’s Japan is introducing the Pork Tatsuta Burger nationwide next week. An all-pork patty topped with a fried onion & ginger “sauce” and spicy mayo, this all-new menu item hits shops on May 31st.
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I originally posted this about a year and a half ago when I went to Blacows for the first time. However as I’m focusing on Tokyo eateries this week, it would be a shame not to talk about my meal there now for folks who missed it. Especially as I truly believe this is not only the best burger joint in Japan… but in the world!
On to my original report…
In my mind, there is no doubt… at this moment, Blacows in Tokyo indeed makes the best burger on the planet.
I’ve been hearing about Blacows for a while now, so as soon as I got off the Shinkansen last month, this was my first stop.
Blacows is a no-nonsense burger place. Owned and run by a butcher, it stakes it reputation on the superior quality of its meat. It prides itself on using only “Kuroge Wagyu”, or “Black-haired Japanese beef”. And that’s where the place gets i’s name from: “Black” + “Cow” = “Blacow”.
The first thing you see when you walk up to the door is a chalkboard that tells you what cuts of beef they’re using that day, where that beef came from, the exact number of the cow they bought it from, and the grade, usually always A5.
When I walked inside, it looks like a normal burger joint; tables, kitchen, happy customers…
But then something in the back caught my eye. A window with a guy in it…
Looking at the dessert menu posted there, at first youthink it’s a pastry kitchen?
But on closer inspection… a “Patty Factory”?!
Why yes, it is.
An in-shop butcher!
Blacows keeps a full-time butcher on staff who carves, cuts, grinds and blends their meat. Then makes each burger by hand so they’re as fresh as can be when they hit your plate!
I told you they pride themselves on their beef!
Now what about their burgers?
Served on a fresh-baked bun, from a partnership with bakery Maison Kayser, Blacows serves small, simple burgers with fries and pickle. I went with their standard cheeseburger…
While not the biggest fan of condiments on my burgers, I put my trust in Blacows and had them bring it to me the way they recommend it be served and eaten.
With a tomato based vegetable sauce spread on the top bun meant to enhance the beef flavor, over a mix of melted Colby and Monterey Jack cheeses…
And a homemade “tartar sauce” and chopped, lightly fried onions on the bottom bun for “punch and depth”…
So this was it, the moment or truth! Would this extreme quality, freshly made beef burger live up to its repuation? Could it come close to meeting my now super high expectations?
Yes, it would.
It surpassed them.
After just one bite, I knew I was eating a burger like no other.
It was, simply put, heavenly.
And I mean that quite literally, as there is no other burger like this… no other burger shop like this… anywhere else on that planet that I know!
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As it was a fried chicken kind of week here on Eataku, it seems only appropriate my pal Sean Ng foodhazed me with it from Cafe Cello!
48 West 46th St.
New York, NY 10036
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Maybe the Trekkies would have enjoyed the new STAR TREK movie a little bit more if they’d had a few of these before going to see it!
Thanks to @CNBCBeerNews for the heads up and jtwoo.blogspot.com for the pic.
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