Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tosaya Ramen

Short note: This is a non-halal entry. Ohh yea, I had one of the most craziest and fun time with my Japanese classmates last night. Will update on that very soon.
This must be one of the most adventurous ramen journey for me so far.
I planned to try another ramen mentioned by my classmate not some distance back last Sunday. Even though it snowed really heavily (I guess it was the worst snow fall so far this year), I didn't let that stop me from going out. After all, this is gonna be my last winter staying in a place that snows, and I guess I should appreciate snow more haha. However, just like Aoshima ramen, this ramen restaurant is located in the outskirt of the town center. I had two choices - to go there by taking the train or the bus. Cycling is definitely not an option for it is extremely dangerous to cycle on the slippery road.
I chose the former as it is cheaper and takes shorter time. Off I went to Nagaoka station and the first thing I did was to buy the train ticket from the automatic ticket machine, without looking at the train times. That proved to be a mistake as the next thing I saw was...
Snowplow works are currently underway due to the heavy snowfall. All Shinetsu-Joetsu Lines trains are postponed until further notice.
Never in my three years in Japan that the boards for train times were left blank like this.
I have seen and heard cases where the train services are stopped temporarily due to accidents or even earthquakes, but I have never expected I could be one of the passengers who failed to board the train due to heavy snowfall. I got my refund from the ticket counter and figured out another plan to get to Miyauchi. Good thing that it didn't snowed in the afternoon. Just got to stand the freezing temperature below five degree Celsius. Anyway, I finally got to the ramen restaurant by taking a bus.
土佐屋ラーメン (Tosaya Ramen) was my destination this time.
The snow just explained how much it snowed in these few days.

As usual, ticket machine is placed at the entrance.
There are more choices of ramen at Tosaya, unlike Aoshima Ramen. It was quite tough for me to make a decision and I spent some time thinking what flavour of ramen should I choose haha.
In the end, I settled from 塩チャーシューメン (shio char siew men) or salt-based char siew noodle.
My copy of food ticket.
Besides manga and newspapers, this restaurant provides free ice-creams for the customers, to be brought back after every meal.
While waiting for my bowl of ramen, I noticed the customers who came to this restaurant were non-stop. Perhaps that was because it was lunch time then, but I guess the fact that this is one of the well-known ramen restaurant in the town is one of the reasons as well.
If there is one positive point that put this restaurant above other ramen restaurants I have gone to, it is the waiting time. I got my bowl of ramen in less than five minutes. That is almost as fast as dining at a fast-food restaurant, no?
The interior of the restaurant.
There are tables for people who come in groups.
A serving of ramen is high in carbohydrates and low in vitamins and minerals. Ramen soup tends to be high in sodium. Ramen noodles themselves contain very little sodium so one can avoid drinking the soup if a low-sodium diet is recommended for health reasons.
Many Japanese people also believe that ramen soup contains a high amount of fat and also that pre-fried fat from the noodles seeps into the soup. However, a typical serving of ramen, even when drinking all of the soup, has less food energy than a fast-food menu consisting of a hamburger, soda, and fries (taken from Wikipedia).
塩チャーシューメン (shio char siew men) - ¥850.
The noodle, which looks quite common like other ramen restaurants.

I notice every ramen restaurant has distinct ingredients as the toping that is peculiar to their restaurant. As for Tosaya Ramen, besides the normal topping like scallion, seaweed (nori), menma, and mizuna, they add sesame as well, which I find it quite unique.
Overall, the noodle was just average. The char siew was good, better than Aoshima's but I don't think it was as juicy and tender as the one I ate at Shimizu. The char siew has a considerably amount of fats, that makes is relatively soft.
Char siew at Tosaya Ramen.
As for the soup, it was a bit salty. I know the name itself should suggest that it should be salty, but it was slightly heavier than my expectation. Nevertheless, the addition of the sesame gives it a really good smell.
After my satisfying lunch, it was time for me to return to Nagaoka. I thought by then, the trains should be back running as usual, but when I reached Miyauchi station, the condition didn't improve at all.
What happened to the railway track after days of heavy snowfall.
Even the ticket machine was (not ready haha) out of service.
Again, I walked for twenty minutes from the station and waited another fifteen minutes for the bus, all because for one bowl of ramen haha.


Baby^Girl said...

my very 1st comment in your blog !
i laugh while reading this post ! OMG !
hahaha ....
fine .. the snow really .. mafan !

calvin said...

@ baby^girl:
finally, you dropped a comment here haha!
which part is funny? the cancellation of the trains?
that one damn za dao lor lol! >.<

~Live Life~ said...

Ramen again...=.=

Any good ramen recommendation in Malaysia?

calvin said...

@ ~live life~:
i heard the ramen in malaysia doesn't use pork.
no ramen wil be nice without pork, i would say =\
and by the way, i have never tried ramen in malaysia; so, it is hard for me to judge.