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Kind like feeding cows September 25, 2018

Posted by hslu in Food, Restaurants, Taipei, Taiwan, Travel.
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We’ve heard of Ichiran Ramen (一蘭拉麪) and knew the restaurant has been a favourite among

I was stunned when we were shown to our seats in section 5 of the famous Ichiran Ramen (一蘭拉麪) in Taipei not dissimilar to the ones in the picture below.

Ichiran Ramen is quite famous, I was told, because customers in Japan have to wait for hours just to have a bowl of noodles at any of its stores.

Ichiran’s noodles weren’t exactly cheap: $288 NTD for a bowl of ramen, about 20% more than comparable ramen noodles sold in Taipei. Anything extra would cost you more money. What seemed extremely outrageous to me was the listing price for extra green onion: $30 NTD, about $1 USD, for a handful of finely chopped green onions.

Minced garlic: $38 NTD. Vinegar: $38. 坑人。

After I walked up to my seat, no. 45, it further confirmed my fear: all of us were just cows waiting for our daily rations at a fancy feedlot in one of the most expensive sections in Taiwan: the Xinyi District of Taipei. Taipei 101 is in the Xinyi District.

This was my slot #46.. The slot isn’t much wider than my shoulders

 

My slot had a ~15″ x ~20″ opening but the top half of the hole was covered by a cheap rolling bamboo screen. All slots were separated by 15″ tall, about 1″ thick dividers made of composite wood and covered with cheap veneer. The tight space gave me the uneasy feeling that I was being treated like a cow and all customers were boxed in our slots just like these cows in the picture here.

Cows are having their lunch just like Ichiran’s customers eating their noodles.

.

This is where our waiters and waitresses work between two rows of seats. They took our orders, control the position of the wood screens and deliver bowls of noodles to customers. Kitchen was about 8′ to his left. I saw two servers working in a space not much wider than 4′.

We came at a little before 2 PM. That’s why there isn’t a line waiting outside of the frpont door.

 

After a customer’s noodles was served, the rolling bamboo screen was lowered down. Interaction between the customer and the server was then terminated.

Our waiter gave us a plastic cup for water, an order sheet to tell the kitchen how we wanted our bowl of noodles made. Ichiran only sells one kind of noodle. You get to choose how spicy and how salty you want the broth to be; how firm for your noodles and whether you want more noodles, eggs, broth or green onions.

Imaging a line of 20 people lowering their heads and eat their noodles away There isn’t a place for your bag or backpack. Keep your baseball cap on because we don’t have room for it

It seemed to me that all customers were encouraged to eat their noodles alone. Once you got your noodles, interaction between you and your server was no longer necessary. Conversation with your friends weren’t encouraged. Ichiran wanted you ate your noodles, paid on your way out and yielded your slot to the next cow, sorry, customer as soon as possible.

Ichiran’s ramen broth was made from many hours of slow cooking of pork leg bones, rich in taste and quite thick in consistency.
broth, seasoning, noodles, and toppings — with respect to our obsession but with a bit of grace and ease.meat and eggs help make the bowl a meal, but they’re not where we’ll put our efforts in this recipe. Here, we’re concentrating on a richly flavored chicken broth and selecting the best noodles.

rich soup broth, in that it uses bones and aromatics to make a base for noodles and toppings. The most significant difference between ramen broth and plain stock is the two-part flavoring system. Kombu and dried shiitake mushrooms enhance the broth while it cooks, giving the broth an earthy taste unlike other broths.

The second addition to ramen broth is a system of flavoring known as tare. Tare is a mixture of intensely flavorful liquids or pastes that are added to the ramen broth just before serving. The most basic is a 50/50 mixture of soy sauce and mirin. Some are made with miso or include chili pastes.

For a restaurant-quality bowl of ramen anytime, keep kombu and dried shiitakes on hand for enhancing even homemade broth. Ditto for soy sauce and mirin. You may also want to keep pickled bamboo shoots and nori on hand for ramen enhancements.

Beer with green tea powder. $148 NTD, about $5 USD. Terrible. Yucky.

So little noodles: you’ll definitely go away hungry. Extra noodles: $48 NTD.

Bland。 Lack of sugar。Don‘t waste your money。

I will never go back to Ichiran. Ever. You shouldn’t either.

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