January 10, 2018
Yeah, this appetizer served with some crinkle-cut fries was pretty good. The thing is, I just had deep-fried chicken last night that was absolutely superb, so these fell a little short.
Fried chicken starter:
My two lunches today were at the Shibuya City Center; I returned to the Shibuya area this morning because I wanted to check out the area during the day. First up was my first tonkatsu (breaded pork) meal in Japan at Tonkatsu Maisen. I also ordered some fried chicken to start. And of course, both dishes came out simultaneously, but that's OK.
Pork loin tonkatsu:
Dispensing with the pleasantries, my main turned out to be utterly fantastic. The pork cutlet was typically breaded with panko, the same stuff that's used on most tempura. What was so nice was upon my first bite, I could immediately taste and see the multiple layers of breading, the outside being crunchy, the inside grainy and moist. Similar to preparing fried chicken, you often dredge the protein in flour, dunk it in milk or an egg wash, then get the second coat (panko bread crumbs in this case) on their just before deep frying the meat. The miso soup and pickled vegetables, along with the steamed white rice and shredded cabbage, were just the perfect complements to the cutlet. I believe the pork I had was from the loin, which seems to cost a tad more than the filet. Maybe side by side the pork loin is a little more tender.
Uma Uma Ramen
I had a bounce in my step after that tonkatsu meal, it was so good. Of course, instead of exiting the Shibuya City Center to meander someplace else, something inside me said to check out the rest of the establishments on this floor. And that's when I walked by Uma Uma Ramen. I'm glad I stopped in.
As Japanese dumplings go, these were very good with a higher ratio of pork to filler than most others I've tried. The little bit of hot chili oil went perfectly with the soy and whatever other ingredients are in dumpling sauce.
The chashu ramen here was dynamite! The joint was pretty empty because it was about 1:30 at this point, and the lunch rush had subsided, but it took at least a few minutes for the dish to come out. I would have to assume this means the noodles were only cooked to order, so that's a good thing. The broth wasn't overly salted, the egg was typically organic and yummy. Really excellent!
Look! It's Aramis from the Three Musketeers!