Sunday, July 21, 2013

Tanaka Shoten Hakata Nagahama Ramen - Mitsuwa Kyushu & Okinawa Fair 2013

I briefly mentioned of Mitsuwa's Kyushu & Okinawa Fair my first Foto-Buffet post but today is the last day of the event in So. Cal. I was able to check out the Torrance store yesterday and had some quick bites. Below is the Mango soft serve from Blue Seal Okinawa.

Although it was my second choice it was actually super delicious! Fyi, it took some time for me to find a comfortable spot to take the shot so the surface is a little glossy. Anyway, the Purple Yam version was sold out, Bummmerrrrr. ...Like for the remainder of the event, or I just may have visited again today, ha. Although I've been covering Mitsuwa Events for a while it seems my last on the Kyushu & Okinawa themed was back in 2009 at SD.

Tanaka Shoten had been a visitor in the past but it would be my first tasting of their Nagahama Ramen. Nagahama in this context refers first to the area in Fukuoka that is their port fish market. Many ramen yatai carts would set foot to cater to these rather impatient market related patrons that are usually in a rush, looking for a quick meal during bidding breaks. The thin noodles that can be swiftly cooked as well as the kaedama system of ordering an extra supplementing serving of noodles is said to have taken root here for these reasons.

As for the ramen it was quite delicious. The soup which of course is the iconic opaque white tonkotsu is very creamy and smooth which (for me) was just the right amount of viscosity. It's also surprisingly not overly rich and makes me think its body is mostly from emulsified collagen rather than fat. (スープは濃厚ですが意外とあっさりしてます。毎日食べれる味です。)

This relatively lighter soup for a tonkotsu then allows the person to adjust the flavor to their liking with many condiments, another Nagahama characteristic. Basic toppings were green onions and kikurage wood ear mushrooms but I was really glad to see Tanaka Shoten going all out with additonal beni shoga (pickled red ginger), grated garlic, roasted white sesame seeds, karashi takana (spicy pickled mustard greens), black pepper shakers, all set to the side and constantly refilled as necessary. This elevated the already good bowl to really great, but man that karashi takana was super spicy! :)

Must say here that the pork chashu slices were fantastic. Extremely tender with a perfect amount of marinade flavor. Noodles are thin but firm and works well. Overall a well balanced bowl that is not as kotteri as one would think and something I can see myself enjoying everyday.

As usual I'm not that great with covering the rest of the event but some photos I took were of some Saba (mackerel) sushi from Nagasaki, a tasting of Mozuku (type of seaweed) Shoyu Dressing (that I purchased) and Sata Andagi (which kinda reminds me of Old Fashioned Donut Holes), both from Okinawa.

Had a good time and already looking forward to the next event. :)


Mary said...

The mango soft serve looks delicious. I love the color on it! Too bad I missed out.

Junichi said...

I went yesterday for Tanaka shoten. Already a line at 11am. Delicious just like last year. Didn't see any soft serve so they must've sold out completely on Saturday.

Dennis K. said...

Hi Mary! I don't have much of a sweet tooth but I enjoyed it a lot. I didn't think our SD store had the soft serve, or I would've dropped in.

Hi Junichi! I almost missed the soft serve, it was tucked in with the crepe booth up front. But they may have sold out like you say. I enjoyed Tanaka Shoten. Of the condiments the karashi takana was my fav. though I used a little of everything. A little heat, tart and bitterness all in one. Brightened the soup up afterward.