Thursday, September 21, 2006

★★★★ はやし (Hayashi) - Tokyo

Hayashi is in Shibuya, located about 5 minutes walking distance south west from the station. Hayashi is only open 11am-5pm from Monday to Saturday, not very convenient to visit here unless you work in the Shibuya area. I made the trip to Hayashi four times before finally catching it when it was actually open. The store is very small, a bar counter type ramen store that seats only 11 people. Hayashi is very popular and when I visited there were many people waiting outside in the rain, I waited about 20 minutes until I got seated. They have only three items on their menu: ramen, ramen with egg, or ramen with extra pork. I ordered the 味玉らーめん (ramen with flavored boiled egg).

ramen ticket vending machine: only three items on the menuThe soup - is a blend of rich chicken/pork bone soup and sardine/bonito soup. The deep flavor of the chicken soup is matched perfectly with the strong aroma of the fish soup. There is also a slight trace of 柚子 yuzu, a Japanese citrus that adds just the the slight sour and refreshing taste to the soup. The soup is not oily at all, rare for these rich seafood type ramen.

The Noodles - are medium thickness, straight noodles cooked very firm. These heavy weight noodles have a strong presence, necessary to match up with the perfectly blended soup.

The Toppings - are cha-shu pork, menma bamboo, nori dried seaweed and the flavored boiled egg. The cha-shu is very tender, yet the seasoning is simple, the flavor slightly dissapointing. The menma bamboo is soft and sweet. The boiled egg is delicious, but avoid it if you don't like the yolk half cooked.

Overall - This place ranks up there with Aoba as the best rich seafood double blended ramen that I have had. I give it higher marks for achieving such flavor in the soup without using much oil. If you are going to be in Shibuya on a Saturday then have lunch at Hayashi, it is located south of the Markcity West shopping mall.
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