After several weeks, we went back to go-en The Japanese Ramen Shoppe plus to check out what was new. I was happy to see they now have more food offerings and have also rolled out their lunch specials. I thought of updating my previous blog post but since it was already long, I decided to just do a part 2 for go-en.
Like in our first visit, the place is still clean and quiet. The people are still friendly and chatty. When we arrived, Carol (the owner's friend who also manages the resto) was lively chatting with a customer. (In case you're in an asocial or grumpy mood coming in, better give them a heads up).
We tried four more of their dishes: the Eihirei, Kara Miso Ramen, Tsukumen Ramen, and Okonomiyaki.
|Eihirei - P200|
Eihirei is dried stingray fin which is fire grilled then cut into strips and served with a spicy mayonnaise dip. I hadn't eaten stingray before so the dish sounded a little intimidating and I didn't know what to expect. But it was great! You're supposed to eat it right after being served since it gets a little tough when it gets cold. We didn't know that and we got around to eating the eihirei after it has cooled down. Still, we found it very enjoyable and the toughness was not an issue. It has no fishy aftertaste and the dip really complements its taste.
|Kara Miso Ramen - P380|
The kara miso ramen is a Hokkaido specialty. It has a creamy miso-based soup and contains hosomen (thin noodles), nori (dried seaweed), menma (simmered bamboo shoots), moyashi (bean sprouts), boiled egg, naganegi (leeks), chashu (specially prepared pork), corn, butter, and naruto (white fish cake with pink swirl). It is very flavorful and the various ingredients add different textures. It is also very filling -- I was already full by the time I was halfway through the ramen.
|Tsukumen Ramen - P420|
The tsukumen ramen is different from other ramens since in this dish, the soup and the solids are served separately. The solids are already pre-cooked, so except for the noodles, the separation is more of a novelty factor. The advantage is that the noodles won't become soggy from staying in the soup too long. Also, instead of the customer adding salt or soy sauce into the ramen to suit his taste, the soup is made strong tasting and the tall vessel holds a plainer broth that you can pour into the soup to dilute its taste.
|Okonomiyaki - P350|
The okonomiyaki (aka Japanese pizza or pancake) includes chopped cabbage, egg, octopus, sakura ebi (cherry blossom shrimp), pork, katsuboshi (bonito flakes), aoinori (green seaweed), and a special sauce. It is soft and savory and still tasty even when eaten the next day..
As for drinks, go-en serves hot and cold teas, sake, local and Japanese beer, and Japanese mixed drinks, aside from the usual sodas. For dessert, there's vanilla ice cream. Not very Japanese-y in my opinion, but perhaps they'll add more traditional ones like mochi desserts or that shaved ice treat that always reminds us of Mojacko (called kakigori).