So Much Ramen, Not Enough Space

One of the things I want to do while in Japan is try a lot of food.

I’ve been spending a lot of my hours just going around Maps and bookmarking a lot of places I’d like to check out. Most of them are cafes and other pastry shops, but I’ve also been looking at some of the restaurants. One that was recommended to me was a ramen shop called “Matsuki”.

Here’s a picture of the place as I passed by one night.

I tried going there a few times but every time I went it was closed. One reason is that many places in Japan close in the middle of the day. Sadly, this time is usually from 2pm to 5pm, which is pretty much around the time I have my last meal of the day. So I either find a place that doesn’t close during these hours, or I have an early or later dinner…

Another reason that it’s been closed the last few times I’ve visited…to my later embarrassment and humiliation, is that every time I thought it was “closed”, it was just me not knowing how to open the door…

In hindsight, I’m not sure how I missed it, but I guess this is one of those “different from America” things. I mean, I’m used to opening a door towards me, using a revolver door, or just walking into the store as the doors automatically slide open.

This restaurant had a regular-looking door and my brain was like yes, let’s grab the handle and pull towards us, but in actuality, it was a sliding door

But I made it! Once I was able to open the door, I finally went inside into stuffy hot air. Since it was just me, I was sat at the “bar” area, which I was glad for because I didn’t want to take off my shoes or try to sit on the tatami. I hurt my leg when I was younger so I can’t really bend one of my legs in the seiza style.

Anyway, I didn’t really know what to order because the menu was in Japanese, so I asked the waiter to recommend me something. This is what I got!

I was actually surprised by how much food this was! I guess it’s not a lot if you list it – ramen, rice, and karaage – but the ramen bowl was HUGE. And maybe it didn’t help that I’d eaten a full breakfast/lunch before this. Or that I came in to eat after 5pm. I don’t usually eat this late so I think my stomach was protesting.

In the end, I hardly finished my food. I left at least half my rice, most of the ramen broth (which I hear is ok), and one karaage piece. I actually would have eaten this one but when I grabbed it, most of the underside was covered in salt…so I left it.

I decided I would come back and try something else, and I would plan for this visit. I would either have this for breakfast, work up an appetite, or eat less in the morning/day.

The next time I visited, I decided to get one of their other sets.

This one also came with rice but instead of the karaage, it had a side of gyoza. I’d actually seen the gyoza on the Map’s page and they looked delicious so I wanted to try them. They were good! But again, even after eating less and working up an appetite, I just had so much trouble finishing my food.

I did finish most of it this time, leaving only a bit of broth and maybe some veggies, but I actually made myself sick. And since I ate this after 5pm, I also feel like I felt it the morning after. I did try walking it off, but again, I felt a bit sick so I had to cut my walk short that night.

IN CONCLUSION, I probably won’t be going back to Matsuki anytime soon. Or at least not ordering a set. Or maybe it’s time to decipher the rest of the menu and see if I can get a smaller size ramen, just ask for less for the same price (or leave it…but I don’t want them to think I don’t like it), or find someone who would like to go with me and split a meal (or at least eat half of mine).

There were a couple ramen bowls I really wanted to try, like the corn one and the kimchi, but I will have to put this on hold for the time being

Oh, and I have to remember to bring some napkins (or hankie) with me the next time. They don’t really have anything to wipe your face with and it was so hot in there because of the ramen and kitchen that I felt like a) I wouldn’t stop sweating and b) my snot just wouldn’t stop trying to escape my nose. Ew.

– G

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