Thursday, January 25, 2007

Asuka (飛鳥), Kagurazaka

(Tôzai line, Kagurazaka st., right outside the Kagurazaka exit)

What: Ramen.
Recommendation: Miso ramen
Verdict: Pretty good (3.5/5)

The story
This cozy little joint keeps tempting me every Sunday afternoon, as I head back from teaching Norwegian class at Bindeballe Scandivian Language School. The warm glow of the wooden sign with the magic three-letter word らーめん (ramen) just proves too much to resist, particularly on chilly winter nights.

The place
Dive inside, get a food ticket from the vending machine on the right-hand side of the door - they serve shôyu (soy sauce base), miso (fermented bean paste), and shio ("salt", ie. soup stock base) from 600 yen ~, as well as gyôza (steam-fried Chinese dumplings) and beer. The interior is clean, oriental-retro style, with large counter and some tables. And the noodles? The word on the web is that the shôyu is plain average, but I can warmly recommend the miso (650 yen).

The noodles
The soup is full and reach, although it doesn't reach the heights of, say, Junren in Takadanobaba, or Kôryû (in several places, I've tried the one on Shinjuku East exit). The noodles have decent texture, and the topping is good.

Has the jury reached its verdict?
Good value, good taste and atmosphere, decent noodles. Excellent choice if you're in the area.

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