Saturday, March 24, 2012

Wandering about Yokohama/Machida area

I didn't have any plans for Saturday, so I decided to head back to Yokohama to round out my ramen trials at the Ramen Museum.  I found out that the ramen I'm most fond of, tonkotsu, is specific to one area of Japan, specifically the SOUTHERMOST part!  Damn, because Yokosuka is wayyy far from the southern region of Japan.  Oh well, didn't keep me from trying the last two tonkotsu vendors...  

Ok, so here's the floor map of this place:

The first tonkotsu place I tried on my first visit the museum was #6 (it had great bbq pork).  On this visit I went to #3 and #4.  

Instead of providing pickled, puree'd garlic, this place gave you a garlic press and fresh garlic!  Interesting twist on keeping this super fresh, huh?  

Soup was good, relatively flavorful, I'd peg it at a 6.5/10.  Noodles were again the same type of lo mein, still not much of a fan.  As for the meat, it's average now that I had my mind blown by the #6 place up there)

This is a menu of #4.  Since I don't read any Japanese, I have to cross reference pictures with the Japanese terms.  Most places have one picture per button, but these america-hating noodlers thought it'd be funny to have one bigass picture sitting atop four ordering buttons.  I end up choosing the most expensive of the "mini" versions, haha.  I figured it's the priciest for a reason, right?  Anyways, the red buttons on the right side are the for the "mini" sizes.  No sight of the chinese word "xiao" on there to represent "small."  Weird, I thought.  

Ok, this next place had pretty crappy ramen, not gonna lie.  My 680ish yen went towards a pretty cool show though.  I was relegated to the bar, where the rest of the other single noodlees (receiving end of noodler?) sat.  There I was able to see the cook pull off his ramen preparation.  I didn't get a chance to make a video, as by the time I realized it would have been a cool video it was practically over.  

Anyways, he would line up about 5-6 washed/cleaned ramen bowls.  He'd then individually wipe them all down to ensure they were dry.  He'd scoop in 1 scoop of this special sauce, then follow it up with another scoop of a different special sauce.  Next came the broth.  But the broth wasn't introduced to the bowl via a huge ladle.  He had this big mesh scooper (imagine what you'd use to cook a bunch of vermicelli) sitting in his tonkotsu pork broth.  With one sweep of the hand, he'd pull the big mesh scooper out of the pot, with all of the gooey/tasty-looking sinew, and "splash" the bowl with it.  That imparted a good amount of the tasty bits of the broth in addition to the watery-parts.  

Next would come the ramen.  A separate chef would prepare it in a separate area, and when it was ready, he'd lay it in the bowl.  But, he wasn't done.  He'd make sure that the noodles were all oriented due north before..ahh just kidding, haha.  Anyways, he'd make sure that all the noodles were sitting neatly.  When he parted the noodles to clean them up, it reminded me of those stupid emo kids fondling their stupid fucking parted haircuts.  

After the noodles looked neat, he sprinkled on chopped green onions, and set down a nicely folded piece of seaweed.  Unfortunately, he also threw in too many pieces of dried, cubed garlic.  That made the whole broth super bitter.  It ruined the whole thing.  Ahh well.  As I said, I paid for a show.  

Ok, that was it for ramen.  I top out at two mini sized bowls.

Next up was the Machida shopping area, which is a few exits down from the Shin Yokohama station.  The reason I headed down here was to find the 4-5 story 100yen store!  Unfortunately, I think the store closed down and was replaced by crap like quicksilver and other stupid clothing pac-sun wannabe stores.  

Luckily, I found these while wandering the streets:  Fried xiao long bao's!  

The little kitchen probably took up about 6-7 square meters.  It was amazing to see five people working this efficiently in such a cramped area, churning out these dragon dumplings like mad. 

 This next store was a food preparation class.  I took these pictures because I had some super sexist comment that had to do with baking me a pie, but I can't remember what it was =p  All I know is that I was giggling to myself for a good five minutes after having thought of it, haha.  

All the Japanese wimmenz doing their cooking thang.  Don't mind the giggling creeper taking your pictures >=]

And here's the Japanese equivalent of Dave and Buster's.  For those that haven't been to one, it's called Round 1.  Incorporates all the things below into one place..

...into seven floor's worth of entertainment!

In the US we've got stuffed animals and superhero action figures and the claw machines.  Here they've got non-pose-able action figures with tigole bitties.  

Razor scooter game!

These merry-go-round looking things are actually coin dozer machines.  They're huge, aren't they?  Very elaborate compared to the coin dozers we have at home.  

Round 1 is different in that there aren't as many shooting games as compared to the US.  There are a lot more music-oriented games that require crazy stupid-fast reflexes.  Kinda like guitar hero on crack.

That's it for Yokohama.  It was time for dinner, and a patient recommended this place called Pepper Lunch. This place specializes in sizzling beef and chicken plates.

I had Denny to thank for this meal.  He was nice enough to treat me out to dinner for my birthday!

...and here it is fully sizzled out.  You have the option of cooking it with a spicy or a sweet sauce.  I combo it up, super tasty!  

If you're heading from base, head down Blue St, I think it's the 3rd intersection on your left.  It's to the left of Mister Donut.

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