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"Onigiri," Scott Beaty.

"Onigiri," Scott Beaty.

Squash blossoms. After. 
(Stuffed with feta and chives.)

Squash blossoms. After.
(Stuffed with feta and chives.)

Squash blossoms. Before.

Squash blossoms. Before.

Tonkotsu ramen at Tsukumo Ramen, Ebisu, Tokyo.
http://www.tukumo.com/menu-f.html

Tonkotsu ramen at Tsukumo Ramen, Ebisu, Tokyo.

http://www.tukumo.com/menu-f.html

In a way, I almost regret having eaten at Tsukumo Ramen, because I know I’ll be filled with a powerful craving for this porky thing of perfection in a couple weeks (probably much sooner), and I’ll be plum out of luck in good ol’ ramen-challenged Toronto. Sure there’s a few places dishing out weak-ass bowls of noodles to people who don’t know better, but for those who have supped at the alter of Ramen, there’s no going back. Am I being a wee bit dramatic? No. If anything, I’m showing what I beleive to be great restraint.
In need of a tonkotsu fix (ramen originally from Kyushu, with a rich, milky pork bone broth and thinish noodles) we headed out to the ever-hip district of Ebisu, Tokyo (near Shibuya) in search of Tsukumo Ramen, which I’d been assured was top-notch. T’was, and I really couldn’t have asked for more. Nice vibe, good music, energetic service and yes, great ramen.
The specialty here is actually cheese ramen (you’ll hear a constant whizzing as they toss a hunk down the grater to land atop a bowl of steaming noodles) but I opted for shoyu tonkotsu — your usual suspects plus a dash of shoyu drizzled on the surface of the finished dish — and my wife went for straight ahead tonkotsu. The broth? Effing great. I could drink a cup of this stuff for breakfast, although many if not all doctors would advise against it — this is rich, fatty stuff. Some might find it a tad salty, but not I. The noodles? Perfect. With a handful of free toppings thrown in (egg, nori, bean sprouts, sesame and more) I was beyond full when we eventually made our way to the door, where about 10 people with drool running down their chins were waiting for tables or a spot at the counter.
Places like these, where you can have a meal prepared by people who are truly obsessed with the food they serve, and who do one thing and do it very, very well, are what I miss most about living in Tokyo. That and izakayas, although that, friend-o, is a story for another day.
(Shoyu tonkotsu, pictured above.)

In a way, I almost regret having eaten at Tsukumo Ramen, because I know I’ll be filled with a powerful craving for this porky thing of perfection in a couple weeks (probably much sooner), and I’ll be plum out of luck in good ol’ ramen-challenged Toronto. Sure there’s a few places dishing out weak-ass bowls of noodles to people who don’t know better, but for those who have supped at the alter of Ramen, there’s no going back. Am I being a wee bit dramatic? No. If anything, I’m showing what I beleive to be great restraint.

In need of a tonkotsu fix (ramen originally from Kyushu, with a rich, milky pork bone broth and thinish noodles) we headed out to the ever-hip district of Ebisu, Tokyo (near Shibuya) in search of Tsukumo Ramen, which I’d been assured was top-notch. T’was, and I really couldn’t have asked for more. Nice vibe, good music, energetic service and yes, great ramen.

The specialty here is actually cheese ramen (you’ll hear a constant whizzing as they toss a hunk down the grater to land atop a bowl of steaming noodles) but I opted for shoyu tonkotsu — your usual suspects plus a dash of shoyu drizzled on the surface of the finished dish — and my wife went for straight ahead tonkotsu. The broth? Effing great. I could drink a cup of this stuff for breakfast, although many if not all doctors would advise against it — this is rich, fatty stuff. Some might find it a tad salty, but not I. The noodles? Perfect. With a handful of free toppings thrown in (egg, nori, bean sprouts, sesame and more) I was beyond full when we eventually made our way to the door, where about 10 people with drool running down their chins were waiting for tables or a spot at the counter.

Places like these, where you can have a meal prepared by people who are truly obsessed with the food they serve, and who do one thing and do it very, very well, are what I miss most about living in Tokyo. That and izakayas, although that, friend-o, is a story for another day.

(Shoyu tonkotsu, pictured above.)