Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Ippu-do Ramen in Gotanda

Tonkotsu creaminess
Another stop for Mom and I during her trip was Ippu-do, home of milky white pork broth and angel hair-esque noodles. We ordered the tonkotsu ramen with a pool of black fried leek oil and a handful of cloud ear mushrooms. You can taste every hour those pork bones boiled. The pork was so tender it was difficult to lift with chopsticks without it falling apart. Dreamy. Their version of tan-tan men, a sesame and chili ramen with ground pork, was similarly rich and silky. The red chili sauteed in oil is a nice contrast to all those bright scallions.

Tan-tan men with the accompanying sheen of chili oil
I should stop and apologize to my dear friend, Monster Nidra, she of the tan-tan obsession and the guts/lack of judgment to clean the bowl. Every time I eat it without her, I chip away at our bond a little bit. And as my mom and I traded the bowls back and forth, humming with noodle-joy, I felt Nidra's presence. Her angry, angry presence.

Addictive sprouts, pickled greens, ginger, and raw garlic
 While the noodles are unbelievable, I find myself most frenzied over the red chili and sesame bean sprouts in the little clay pots on the table. Leaving them out with tiny self-serve tongs is just irresponsible. I could sit there all day with a hot bowl of rice and just crunch away at them. Except they apparently need the table for other customers.

Vanishing gyoza
We got a side of hito-guchi gyoza (bite-size pork dumplings) on a whim, not expecting anything special. So crispy, so delicate! So tiny! It's always nice when my lilliputian mom can find something sized for her. (Nothing sadder than watching her struggle with a NY deli sandwich.) Anyway, we were ambushed by their tastiness and gobbled them up before I could snap a photo.  My shame is their victory.


  1. What. The HELL. What are you trying to do? The fixin's photo sent me over the edge. I just tried to call you. I see you've changed your number. You'll not get away with this.

    But maybe you could go to the tantan mien place and take photos so I can keep them and take them out when I need "special" time. Can I say "special time" on this blog?

  2. Um, remember our talk about boundaries?

  3. You're killing me. You are absolutely killing me.