Christmas in Tokyo — 6 Days of Ramen

First of all, HELLO! Second of all, MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Let’s not even discuss how long it’s been since my last post. Actually, you should be happy. This means we are true friends!! Really. All my true friends know that sometimes Chrissy might go MIA (PS, I was about to use AWOL and when I randomly asked John what AWOL stood for again, he said, “well, absent without leave. But you probably mean MIA in whatever you’re trying to say.” God he’s a smug bastard I hate him.) Anyhow yes Chrissy might go MIA from time to time but it’s in our unwritten friend code that when I do return, we act like nothing happened, or give maybe one small comment before moving on (“you gave birth?”) (“aah sorry about your dog”) I make up for it in intense love when I’m there.

So, sorry about your dog, congrats on the baby, glad your new place is coming along nicely.

Anyhow, wake up, new mom! This is ramen:

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And this is how ramen makes me feel:

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Prease, let’s continue…

Sitting at home in New York, John and I debated where to go for Christmas. As his family Christmas would be the 22nd, we would get an entire week off to go wherever the hell we could dream up. For the past few years, we’ve gone to my parent’s house in Bangkok, where we have Christmas dinner with the neighbors, making everything we possibly could — fried chicken, pad krapow (thai holy basil chicken stir fry, one of my most favorite dishes ever), papaya salad, tacos (what? sometimes I see taco shells at the grocery store and want tacos okay), turkey (fuck ham, I eat ham for breakfast. literally. every morning.), stuffing, my mom’s scalloped potatoes, the list goes on and on…

But on Christmas Eve, don’t ask why I’m working backwards here, I don’t feel like copy/pasting and switching those sentences, we have our fancy dinner at the Bangkok Oriental Hotel. And I gotta say, I like our neighborhood Christmas better.

Anyhoo. “Where to goooo, where to go.” We debated Cabo for a bit. Nah, I like to be cold and still feel like it’s the holidays. Plus I want to eat. PLUS, I am COVERED in “sand flea” bites from my last job and would scar in the sun. When I say covered, I mean everything but my face. They…let’s just say they literally went into my ass crack.

We went to Tokyo a couple years ago, for New Years, and had some of the best food of our lives. Japanese BBQ, the most delicious Cantonese lunch I’ve ever had (and the only). Sushi. Ramen.  And since it’s been a rough year for me and well, eating (hence the less posting) I really wanted to just….not fucking care for a bit. Six days to be exact.

And so it was done. We arrived Monday night and despite sleeping the entire flight, went straight to bed. Tuesday we, of course, woke up around 4am and ordered spring rolls, a green salad, and seared tuna. Not bad, but all I wanted was ramen. And so it was decided. We would have ramen for lunch that day, and every single day after.

We don’t exactly have a schedule for this sort of thing, just our handy google search engine and the concierge but HOLY SHIT. Yesterday’s ramen was beyond anything I can really type out. I literally don’t have words that can accurately describe how good it was. But I have photos. And some words. So I will put them together to form a story fit for a 5 year old because that’s all my jetlaggy mind can muster…

Once upon a time, there was a person. And another person. “People”, some might say.

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Those people loved food. Oh, how they loved food (I don’t know why this is in past tense just go with it)

So one day they decided to find the best ramen their little legs could find. And boy, did they do a good job. With the help of their concierge, they stumbled upon a place just a 15 minute walk from their hotel! Oh, how these lazy fucks loved this.

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The place was called Kyushu-Jangara, and would forever live in their hearts as the best ramen they have ever had. It would also live in their minds as the place with an entrance like Dexter.

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A small, neat little hole-in-the-wall with Japanese businessmen as far as the eye could see. Which was about 10 feet, then there was a wall and all. At just under 20 or so seats, the vibe was exactly how those 2 people had imagined. Order at the door, pay, sit, food within 5 minutes, smiling waiters, big mugs of ice cold beer. It was perfection.

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They waited for their treasure while absorbing all this little place had to offer. Each little seat had a station with hot pickled ginger, hot pickled greens, vinegar, white pepper and hot chili spice. I also refer to these things as “shit I don’t care about.” I like my ramen just the way the chef wants me to like it. I call it…naked ramen.

More….stuff….

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I ordered the most popular ramen, the “Kyushu Jangara” (duh) — with a broth made from a mixture of pork bone stock, chicken stock, and vegetable stock. And due to a mistake that we would later decide was not a mistake at all but a blessing, I ordered John the “Kobonshan”. The Kobonshan was a regular, creamy pork bone stock with with a GENEROUS hit of garlic. It was, pardon my lack of words, EVERYTHING.

Ah I forgot I was telling this like a story ummmm so they were basically in heaven.

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Christmas in Tokyo — 6 Days of Ramen

While she looks pained, she is in fact just having a moment. You ever cry when you’re happy or overwhelmed? This is that.

They left after deciding to abide by the sign that had been in front of them as they were feasting. One of the few things they could actually understand.

 

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