Ramen Competition on the street in Tokyo

The season I have been waiting for has finally arrived. There is nothing that makes me feel more peaceful than the color and feeling of autumn. It almost makes the year’s worth of delays bearable.

Also, it means that summer is over (good riddance) and food is better once again. When it gets cold, fish gets better. It used to be that certain types of fish were only available in the winter for sushi. Fish used to be highly seasonal and winter was the best time for sushi when fish develops that layer of fat but more on sushi and the seasons another time.

After my 2nd month in Tokyo and going to lengths to dine at so-called famous Ramen places, I pretty much narrowed down my favorite Ramen places to just Jangara Ramen in Harajuku and Ippudo in Ebisu. Or Roppongi. I actually havent eaten Jangara Ramen in months, but Ippudo I still heart. It is a very different experience from eating Ippudo in Singapore, where situated at Mandarin Hotel and serving other types of food besides Ramen, the latter is fancier and less of a quick Ramen fix.

I like that Ippudo (in Singapore too) always asks what level of hardness one’s preference for noodles is and they deliver. The texture and the intensity of the soup are now pretty much irreplaceable to me, and withthecalorieintake I am pretty happy to just spend my Ramen quota on 1 shop, knowing that 1 shop will always satisfy. They put on seasonal ingredients and Ramen as well so there will always be a little surprise if you are into variety.

Still, yesterday a big crowd at a parking lot nearby perked our interest. Since the weather was so beautifully cool, I was happy to trek over to the crowded carpark to find out what the fuss was. We found ourselves at an outdoor Ramen competition.

More interesting than the long lines for different Ramen however, was this booth.

Why are they in line? We wondered. Note the iPhone icon on top.

It is a perfectly lit booth for people to snap pictures of their Ramen! This guy snapped a picture with his iPhone….

Then his iPad

Because there is like… so much difference.

The winning Ramen gets their recipe made and sold as instant noodles. The type of Ramen competing is the kind that serves dry noodles with a side dip. They also get huge trophies shaped like gold, silver or bronze noodle ladles.

There you have the voting booth! That was an interesting little sidetrack I had.


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