you're so fine
you're so fine
you blow my mind
Just SICK, absolutely SICK
So DISGUSTINGLY GOOD.
Wait, WTF is Arashi? It's actually Kagetsu Arashi. らあめん花月嵐
I was told there was a place in Taipei City (NOT IN THE USA) that supposedly has some of the best Japanese ramen, which ended up being a consolation afternoon snackeroo after learning that the best Japanese tsukemen in town closed for the New Year.
Enter Kagetsu Arashi ramen, which is actually a popular chain restaurant from Tokyo (http://www.kagetsu.co.jp). There's a location by Narita Airport (Japan) and apparently by expert ramen blogger $tandard$, the Narita location was decent mall food quality (ouch). There are two other locations in Taipei, and this one is upstairs in the Breeze Center food court (a proper sit down restaurant) from Taipei Main Station.
But hands down some of the best ramen I've had so far.
Their signature broth appears to be a shio tonkotsu ramen, so disgustingly creamy and rich, it makes Saint Nizzle ramen in San Mateo an afterthought.
But I ended up checking out their seasonal limited edition offering a while back
just called BLACK
Once you go BLACK you never go BACK. And no I'm not talking about BALACK OBAMA, although I'm sure he'd endorse this BLACK ramen.
Here's what's inside this SICKENINGLY DISGUSTINGLY GOOD bowl.
1) Pure Porcine Porkgasm Bliss of pork bone broth (arguably Taiwanese black pork), as a hybrid shoyu tonkotsu, so rich and so creamy it hurt$ $o good
2) minced garlic pan fried (HELLA garlic) that melts into the soup
3) nice chewy noodles with decent texture
4) digustingly unhealthy FLOATIES, also known as upper (back) side fat of the pig. Doesn't taste like fat but bone marrow for some reason. OINK OINK OINK!!!!
5) Ni-tamago (slow cooked in soy sauce/broth) but sadly overcooked
6) Good chewy menma (bamboo shoots)
7) Piece of nori (yummay)
8) two pieces of porktastic perfectly stewed chashu that is nicely marbled
9) and finally to make it BLACK, delectable kuro mayu (black sesame oil) drizzled on top (like R.Kelly doing a number on a girl)
All this for NT$190, or a few shades over US$6!!!! You can't touch dis, Kuro Ramen @ Maruichi Mountain View....
They have a small pot of self help kim chi. No cabbage here, just spicy chives. Soooo spicy it caused instant hiccups...very potent stuff. Plus several self help special sauces and seasonings for your own application.
Best of all? Crush it yourself garlic cloves. To add more HELLA garlic to your ramen....
In addition to the signature ramen and BLACK ramen...
they seem to have this new seasonal offering called Aka Oni (red demon/ghost) which is supposedly a spicy aka (red) miso flavor.
Also highly recommend but did not try, teppan yaki meshi or cha han. Fried rice on a cast iron skillet. You can add additional bits to kick things up a notch (like butter). Think Benihana style teppan fried rice, but DIY at the table. Even the plastic display behind glass looked so good I wanted to eat it.
The Black Ramen I had around 2 to 3 pm that day. Less than four hours later, I blew out my belt buckle and had a grilled unagi over rice (unaju) dinner at
followed by an extra large sized tapioca milk tea as a late night drink.
Guess what the combo of greasy, fatty, unagi, and milk did? LOL you don't want to know...
But was it worth it?
One more thing. A surefire sign of authentic ramen is that AFTER you eat the bowl of noodles, you sweat like a muddafugga. As if you engaged in hot monkey love. Kagetsu Arashi was like hot sweaty funky monkey sex.
None of the San Francisco Bay Area ramen places made me sweat after eating. Maybe Daikokuya in LA did but then again it was 108 F that labor day weekend in 2007 when I went....so didn't count. So what's up with that?
A fairly recent visit a year ago, the Black ramen was no longer offered. But one of their broths that had fish and meat bones in it, in addition to shaved bonito flakes, was out of this world. They skimped quite a bit on the chashu unfortunately. There may be better ramen spots, but this place is quite excellent otherwise.
Kagetsu Arashi Ramen [らあめん花月嵐拉麵」
Taipei Main Station, Breeze Center, 2nd FL