Japan at Your Doorstep

I get a random text from my dearest older brother Ajay asking me to meet him for dinner. Quite out of the ordinary but I was happy to meet. Since he’s now transferred to Westminster from Manchester University and me now working in Peckham, South London. We can actually meet up for dinners which I reckon won’t happen as often as I’d like but still, I’m still happy. And Ajay was taking me to a new Ramen Bar…Kanada-Ya.

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Kanada-Ya reminded me of Japan’s own version of McDonalds. Just seemed to casual, full of Japanese Natives. This Noodle bar is small but definitely not grotty; very trendy and hipster like. Thank god they haven’t all discovered this place yet, or maybe they’re too intimidated to go.

If you’re not entirely sure what a Ramen is…Well its Amazing. It’s like a Much Better and healthier version of Pot noodle. So its a soup that originated in Japan Consisting of Noodles, Meat/ Fish Broth topped with sliced pork, spring onions and seaweed and occasionally a soft Tea-boiled egg (not to keen on that part). Honestly its the most amazing thing EVER!

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There’s only 3 types of Ramens you can get here. 18 hr Pork Bone broth, Chashu pork belly, wood ear fungus, nori and spring onions; 18 hr Pork Bone broth, Chashu pork belly, wood ear fungus, nori and spring onions topped with beansprouts; 18 hr Pork Bone broth, Deluxe Chashu pork collar, wood ear fungus, nori and spring onions. Fairly cheap from £10-£12.50.

Miso broth

Ajay and I both ordered the Pork with Beansprouts, but the weirdest thing was the waitress asked us how we like our noodles cooked. Has that ever happened to you? Apparently in Japan they like there noodles hard because it’s still cooking whilst in the broth. So I asked for mine to be hard and it was so worth it. Al Dante. Perfect. They didn’t turn to slush; weren’t too chewy just right. Now I’m usually the annoying customer who shoves a whole load of soya sauce in the bowl because it needs more flavour. But here I didn’t need to add anything in. The broth was a lot more Cloudier but had really strong clean flavours.

The thing that I was intrigued to try was the Wood ear fungus. it was like an crunchy mushroom. Really words couldn’t describe the bite it had. It was over powering and strong, just so there but not too in your face. If people don’t know what nori is its a sheet of Seaweed. You just add the sheet into the broth and let it slightly wilt and just shove it in your gob. It gives the broth a fishy taste and not in an unpleasant way.

Just saying I ate my bowl of ramen with 7 minutes. I’ve worked out, you’re meant to stretch the noodles first, well the bit you want to eat and then and then whack it in! And you slurp the noodles in. I know it sounds disgusting but you know you’re eating right when you make the noise.

But Ajay decided to be more experimental by picking Spicy Miso. It wasn’t nice. It was like Wasabi. Apparently you’re meant to pinch a little bit at a time with your chopstick to taste. DO NOT STIR THE SPOON INTO YOUR BOWL.

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This is I think is like Pickeled Carrot but I really wasn’t sure. The lady next to us was putting it on her spoon and adding it to her noodles using the chopsticks. I didnt try some unfortunately I was to busy shoveling the noddles down as fast as I could.

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Whenever I try to experiment I fail Miserably. So for drinks I thought I was ordering what the guy opposite was having (PS he looked like a Japanese version of John Lennon). Instead I got this. Now I know Arji buys these from Cyber Candy but I have never been temped to try a bottle of E numbers waiting to kill my insides. And I was right, It was Artificially disgusting!

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The cool thing about this was opening the bottle there’s a cap which you push down which releases a glass ball in the neck of the bottle. In Japan They have this thing we’re you see who can open the top and get the glass ball out the quickest without smashing the bottle. Well that’s what the Waitress explained to us. Me and Arji tried this…We both failed miserably.

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This Waitress, was the coolest waitress at a ramen bar, I personally thought. usually they’re really quiet and have that look that says “don’t disturb me b*tch”. But instead she helped explain everything, from the noodles to the drink! I think we became abit annoying towards the end, constantly asking her what certain things were.

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I would definitely recommend this restaurant to every Ramen Lover! And order extra noodles.

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Filed under Places to go, The Unknown Mystery

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