We walked up to the sign for Genei Wagan at street level, then walked down three flights of outdoor stairs to an underground locked door. My friend Kanai san rang a door bell. Shortly after, the door cracked open and someone asked for his name. The door shut for a few seconds and when it was open again we were led into a black hallway.
We turned to the right and saw another hallway of columns. As we were escorted through the small restaurant, we passed short staircases in between the columns on the left. Through the slanted columns on the right was a bar. The last set of stairs took us to our table.
This restaurant serves a set five course meal with a bowl of ramen as the last course. First time customers receive the chef’s basic ramen. Once you have been to the restaurant at least twice, only then may you customize your ramen.
The first course was tuna tempura, braised daikon and beef, and a steamed oyster.
The second course was fugu (poison fish) chawanmushi, which is a dish that I learned to make from mom! (Post coming soon.)
The third course was grilled food. First were shiatake mushrooms with soy sauce. We never flipped the mushrooms, so the bottoms were crispy and the mushroom itself was soft, and the soy sauce reduced inside the cap. It was so good!
Next, we were served slice eggplant and mountain potato. We grilled the mountain potato very simply with salt. If you have never had mountain potato, it has a slimy exterior when cut. I actually like that texture, but the grill took that away and just left the crunch and flavor of the potato. This was the first time I had ever tried cooked mountain potato.
The eggplant was grilled differently. Half way through cooking our server brushed sweetened miso paste onto the eggplant and caramelized it with a torch. The miso paste was crispy and sticky. It was a very delicious piece of eggplant!
The fourth course was sliced beef over cabbage. The sever took a torch to the this, too!
Then it was time for the fifth course, ramen! This ramen was very different from the ramen we had at lunchtime, but equally delicious. It was a soy sauce base with pork. The noodles were thin, the broth was light, and the flavor was simple.
Before I started eating my ramen, Hiromi told me to leave a bit of broth.
When we all just had broth left in our bowl we were served a bowl of rice and a smaller bowl with a whole raw egg and soy sauce.
We beat the raw egg with our chopsticks and poured it over the bowl of rice. We took a few bites to taste the egg and rice.
Finally, we poured some of the leftover broth into the rice and egg bowl to make a thick soup. This dinner was an interactive and filling experience! I am looking forward to being a repeat customer so I can level up my ramen!
My ramen lunch:
Men-shou Taketora Ramen
Other restaurants I went to in Tokyo:
Biscuit Sweets In Tokyo
Kyo Hayashiya Cafe (Tokyo, Japan)
Ichinoya Restaurant (Tokyo, Japan)
Soba Lunch with Mom and Dad (Tokyo, Japan)
Dinner in Shibuya
La Grande Porte (Tokyo, Japan)