Posts Tagged ‘japanese’
It took a while for me to write this review because it was quite hard to assess my emotions with this restaurant. When it comes to talking about restaurants, I always have two reactions. First, the restaurant is great and this reaction is always something that’s clear to me after the first bite. Second, it’s horrible and it’s possibly something I’ll never recommend to friends or even spend some time writing about. Again, that’s a reaction garnered from the first bite.
Somewhere in the middle was this restaurant which everyone who had gone with me, and everyone who has blogged about it were singing praises for and for me… I just couldn’t seem to sing the same praises.
I’m not saying Ramen Bar is bad but if it claims to be an authentic Japanese ramen and put it against the best ramen in Japan, it’s not good enough to cause a Ramen boom.
I first met Mr. Sugawara when he invited me to join them for a family dinner at Kikufuji. His daughter and I had been good friends by then and while our brand of fun seemed to have finished early (and they had room for one more) I would assume that he thought it was possibly nice to join them for dinner. What happened afterwards was a mouth-opening experience as he showed me a whole new flavor palette for Japanese food. Fresh fish, a great balance of rice, wasabi and vinegar makes amazing sushi. Of course, there was also balance in terms of textures, colors, and flavors that by the end of the evening, I could never imagine myself eating at any other Japanese joint.
Out of all the holidays, I’ve grown to love the New Year.
It must be the hope that comes with the unknown. The fact that it’s new, the year’s bound to have something good to offer. Old troubles from the previous year disappears and everything is a clean slate again.
I’ve had the luck of spending my New Year differently for the past three years. And it’s interesting how each New Year brings a new experience for me. This year was rather laidback compared the previous year. Perhaps I’m starting this year with clearer head and a calm compared to last year.
Last year was filled with excitement as it was my first New Year to spend with a Japanese family. A close friend of mine, the Sugawaras, decided to share this holiday for me and spend that time, Japanese style.
Now I’m not saying that this is what Japanese people usually do. It’s best to say that this is what Japanese people spend the New Year’s when they’re far away from home. While they may not go to temples, play badminton, and all that jazz, some New Year traditions never change. The joy of having to eat an osechi and ozoni is still a staple in this Japanese home away from home.
It has been months since I’ve been in Osaka but I am still basking in the high of having gone to Japan and returning in one piece. One of the masterpieces that I tasted there was not a native Osaka dish but still one of the best in Japan.
Hakata ramen claimed its fame in the late 80s as it was a fresh vibrant flavor for Japanese ramen. One of pillars of Hakata ramen is a shop called Ippudo who greeted me with a sign that eagerly awaited the happiness I’ll feel when I eat their ramen.
This may be a month too late but it’s still a very fond memory to me. I started my new year the same time as the Japanese and this year, in the spirit of my love for noodles, I had my first Toshikoshi Soba. 年 越し蕎麦 (toshi koshi soba) may look just like your regular soba dish but it actually represents the ending of the year and the start of the new. Japanese would usually have a bowl of soba the minute midnight strikes. It’s similar to how Filipinos should have pancit. The toshikoshi soba’s a symbol of longevity that we may endure the coming year.