Japan, 〒102-0073 Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kudankita, 1 Chome−9−１２ 九段下 ビル 1 階
Rocking Some Random But Seriously Good Ramen at IkarugaWe watched as customers walked up to the vending machine, inserted some Yen, pressed a few buttons, and handed ejected tickets to a hostess who wrote down their orders on a clipboard. After a few minutes in line, the hostess led the customers into Ikaruga to enjoy some hot noodles.
When it was our turn to order, I stared at the rows of options (written in Japanese, which I cannot read), put money in the machine, and punched out two orders from the top row. (The top rows had the highest prices so I hoped I was ordering a meal and not an iced-tea.) It felt a little bit like a game show: we had no idea what we had just ordered.
Of course this was Japan and this was an obsessed about noodle shop so the odds were high that we had ordered something tasty. True to form a few minutes after we were seated they placed at our table two creamy bowls of tonkotsu ramen: a halved soft boiled egg, slices of pork, a flake of dried seaweed, thin noodles. It was of course, awesome, and I finished it so quickly I didn’t even have time to slurp the noodles.
The next time I will throw caution to the wind and punch a few more buttons, perhaps working my way through the rows. I am confident the odds are very high I will enjoy whatever is served. (Although I do hope that the next time one of the buttons does yield me that iced-tea.)