In most situations I will try to not slaughter a restaurant due to the fact that tastes are subjective, and more often than not the driving force behind it is a person who's trying. Well, in this case I have to open the gates of wrath.
I have tried Inage's food before. His other branch of ramen at Sapporo, was a gargantuan fuck-chamber of mediocrity when they opened up a few years ago. I remember it so distinctly that I never went back. The poor fuckers couldn't get ANYTHING right... Well, now he has branched off due to his "success" in feeding noodle soups to a loyal customer base who I stress to venture have never had a good bowl in their lives, or smoke too many cigarettes, He pushes the thread of authenticity under a blanket of jumping on a bandwagon and actually having no natural ability to re-create Ramen in an edible form.
Ezo, his new flagship spot next to the dazzlingly vomitous facade of beard oil merchants next door, shines with a brave announcement of intent. Come here for hipster, fashionable ramen. One positive, he doesn't hike up the price towards the 200 NOK mark like so many other places in town, cough cough. At 140 Kr for the Shoyu Bowl, you can't at least argue with the cost. However, after completion of said bargain, you realise you'd happily pay more for something edible.
The noodles had this magic power of tasting over-cooked and under-cooked at the same time. The pork was not trimmed properly or rendered so the fat had that awful raw-white-fat taste that would make you send a lamb rack hurtling back to the kitchen, the soup was devoid of any depth and sweet like christmas pudding, the sprinkling of spring onion the only thing that tasted as it should, because it hadn't been barbarised by the chefs hand. To add final insult to the frostiest of injuries, the crown of golden yolked redemption (the egg) was bitten into and subsequently discarded. How they manage to almost hard boil it and then dunk it in vinegar so that it soaks up all of the astringency but no flavours of mirin, soy, that it's supposed to have. Wonders never cease in the realm of cluelessness.
I am starting to have severe suspicions of this man's intentions, because by my experience the Japanese are very studious in their approaches to food and do nothing half-assed. Well, this my friends is the epitome of half-assed. It was downright embarassing.
A collection of short blog posts about my daily bowls.