こんにちは！ Last Saturday, Paul, Kayla, and I went to the restaurant Jimantei for ramen. It was awesome!
The kanji on the sign, 手 and 打, translate to “hand” and “strike” – which together means handmade noodles!
Like many family-owned shops, it looks like the first floor is the restaurant and the second floor is where the family lives. We came in and were seated in a Japanese-style section:
We had to take off our shoes in the doorway. Some restaurants have you take off your shoes right away and offer you indoor shoes – which is okay for me, but less okay for foreigners with bigger feet!
In this restaurant, we just took off our shoes and walked around in our socks. The floor in this room is made from tatami mats, which are basically woven mats of straw. (Our apartment has two tatami rooms…they’re the worst. If you spill anything, you have to dry it right up, or else mould will grow beneath the mats!)
Also, in a lot of restaurants, the waiter seats you and doesn’t disturb you unless you call for them. So if you ever end up in a Japanese restaurant and you’re sitting there for a while wondering, “When are they going to come get our order??” you’ll have to shout, “Sumimasen!” and they’ll come. It was hard for me to get used to this at first – it feels very rude to be shouting for a waiter to come take your order – but I’ve gotten used to it!
Paul started himself out with beer. In these restaurants, the beer usually comes with a small side – here they served it with edamame!
The menu was nice a simple: shoyu (soy sauce) or miso broth, with a small or large size of chashumen (pork) or dumplings included. Ever the popular side, we also had gyoza! I like to mix the sauce with a dash of vinegar and a little bit of “hot” sauce (it’s really not hot at all!)
One of the things I love about Tatebayashi are all of the family-owned ramen shops that make their noodles by hand. There are four we’ve been to in town so far, and Paul and I debate over which shop has the best noodles, or meat, or broth, or beer… Regardless, they’re all amazing!
I got this small bowl of shoyu chashumen for only 700¥, roughly $7!
This shop had some really amazing pork!
I’ll definitely be going back there the next time we’re in the neighbourhood!