Friday, June 1, 2018

Hechikan

Location: Hechikan


Rating: Excellent
Meal: Dinner for 2
Price: 4880 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes: 2 bowls of clam broth ramen, sliced beef, 4 small glasses of sake
English Menu: No
Smoking: No


This was an unexpected surprise!  I was in Yokohama at Antenna America meeting a friend and a new acquaintance.  This new friend is also a beer and food nut and we got to talking about such things when the conversation veered into sake.  I complained that I hadn't really been able to get into sake as much as I'd like partially because of the paralysis of choice.  He mentioned that there was a nearby ramen izakaya that served some local Kanagawa namazake (fresh unpasteurized sake).  It was just past 7pm so they were open and we walked on over.

Local sake, the 3 on the right are only available in this area

At lunch, this is mainly a ramen restaurant.  Apparently the menu changes day by day, so you never know what they might have.  In the evening after 7pm they are more of an izakaya style, where you order smaller dishes and drink from their excellent selection of sake.  We ordered 4 small glasses of different namazake and shared the tasting.  They were indeed very good, and best of all I have pictures of the bottles and they should be available at my local osake shop.

Sliced beef rose

But this is a food blog, so I will move on.  We received a couple of "mandatory appetizers" first some blocks of tofu with Kyoto soy sauce and salt.  Next some small dried shrimp that were quite sweet.  These were mainly meant to pair with the sake, and the went quite nicely.  Then we ordered some sliced beef, mainly because the big hunk of meat was just sitting there staring at us.  Apparently this was a prosciutto style of some kind and was close to raw, so it was sliced very thin and allowed to just come up to room temperature so that the flavors really came through.  It was...very delicious.

Asari (clam) ramen

While we were tasting the sake and talking, someone a couple spots over from us ordered the clam broth ramen, and the smell wafted over to me.  That settled it...it would be the clam broth (asari) ramen for sure!  It was the simplest bowl of ramen I've ever had...just noodles, broth, and a scattering of chives on the top.  But the flavor was so big and creamy!  I have no idea how they packed all that flavor into the broth, but it was amazing.  The noodles were the thinner hakata style, cooked just nicely hard.  Needless to say, there was no broth left over from that bowl.

There is another branch of this store at Gumyoji station and we are hoping to check it out together some day.  They specialize in Tottori regional food and sake there.

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