Mitsuwa Umaimono Gourmet Fair
The Ramen Fair is back at Mitsuwa!! Well it's actually called the Umaimono Gourmet Fair which will include more than just ramen. For more info check here: http://www.goramen.com/2008/05/mitsuw...
Here is the rundown:
Chibakiya: Featuring Shark's Fin Ramen.
5/15(Thu) - 5/18(Sun) Torrance
5/22(Thu) - 5/25(Sun) New Jersey
Kujiraken: Featuring Shina Soba.
5/15(Thu) - 5/18(Sun) Costa Mesa
5/22(Thu) - 5/25(Sun) San Jose
Tsukasa: Featuring BBQ Beef Tongue Plate and Beef Tongue Bento Box.
5/15(Thu) - 5/18(Sun) Costa Mesa
Takoya Kukuru: Featuring Takoyaki.
5/15(Thu) - 5/18(Sun) Torrance, Costa Mesa
5/22(Thu) - 5/25(Sun) San Jose, New Jersey
Hopefully rameniac will be able to give us some more detailed descriptions of the ramen.
See you there!
I was there today at the New Jersey location. So bummed that there was no beef tongue. That looked to be the most interesting to me.
I could have sworn the shark's fin ramen was $22 at the Jersey location, not $18. Whether it was $22 or $18, it was too rich for my blood. Shark's fin is OK, but it's not something I crave. There was nobody by that stand -- NOBODY. I saw people go up and walk away. And there were hardly any people by the seafood bento stand either as the price as also a bit higher -- like $14. The boxes looked gorgeous but I'm not the biggest fan of premade bento boxes. I also heard a bunch of Korean people go up to the stand and walk away saying that they thought it was too expensive.
The croquettes were pretty good. We had crab, scallop (I didn't taste any scallop) and salmon. I would love to try some croquettes piping hot out of the oil, though. I agree with those who said that the takoyaki was very soggy. It was tasty, but the texture was a bit off for my taste. I read exilekiss's post about how they were soggy 2 minutes later. So as soon as I paid for it, I walked a few steps opened the box and popped one in my mouth even though they were excruciatingly hot (I've got a high pain threshold). And it was still soggy. The ocotpus they put in was thick and juicy. It was quite a jovial stand compared to the other ones there.
As I'm not a huge fan of Japanese desserts, I didn't get anything else except the sweet potato sticks. Not bad -- reminds me of some Korean-Chinese dessert. I wanted to try the apple-potato pie but they were already out of it.
When I saw Mitsuwa's flyer on the Umaimono Fair, San Diego was listed as a location, but in the event-by-event breakdown, was not mentioned at all. Thinking that S.D. was listed as a misprint I just figured that this event has passed us by...
...that is, until...
...a colleague mentioned earlier today that he had seen Croquettes being served up at the S.D. Mitsuwa at lunchtime today!
Anyone else with some local S.D. intel? Not sure if it'll be worth making a pre-weekend drive just to find out, but will find out for sure as part of my regular weekend rounds.
For the benefit of other S.D. Hounds, I'll answer my own post...
Based upon a visit at lunch today, of the major featured items they had the croquettes and the boxed sushi featuring inari, saba, futomaki, and various chirashi.
Though confined to mainly one large stall and an outboard table or two, there indeed was quite a selection in addition to the above. Some of the items included various rolled cakes, assorted yokan (red bean gelatin desserts) and mochi, assorted dango (rice balls on a stick), bottles of prepared toppings such as red tsubu uni (crushed red prepared uni), shio kara, ikura, mentaiko, also various seasoning packs for kamameshi (iron pot rice w/seasonings), and Nagasaki tempura.
What is missing are any of the yatais with items made to order - though I guess if you are on the ball one can get a freshly made croquette.
I'm sure I didn't catch everything in this list - there's a lot there but very efficiently packed away in to-go boxes, so at first glance it may not look like much of a spread.
Full Review and Pics coming soon.
I tried out the Mitsuwa Food Fair today (Thurs) at Costa Mesa, and it was pretty good.
* Tsukasa Gyu-Tan (Beef Tongue) was AMAZING! From Sendai (Miyagi Prefecture) in Japan. They are a Beef Tongue specialist and it was great stuff!
* Kujiraken Shina Soba Ramen was ~Ok. A bit too salty, the ramen noodles were overcooked (a bit soggy), but the Chashu was FRESH (made that day (considering it's the 1st day of the Fair, it might change by tomorrow / weekend)).
* Takoya Kururu: Takoyaki (Octopus Balls) - Good quality but soggy (since it was covered up in a box by the time I opened it (only 2 minutes later(!), it was soggy already. :(
* They also have like ~7+ types of Korokke (Croquettes), lots of interesting bento boxes, specialties, etc.
Worth a visit this weekend if you're nearby! (^_^)
Thanks for Keizo for the heads up and I'll have pics soon.
Lucky dog! Tsukasa will not be at the NJ shop.... What's the deal with the korokke? Are they made by a vendor or something? Any info on the 7 types? My dining partner is a "korokke-niac"...
'Sigh'. I can't get excited about either of those ramen. The next time you're in Tokyo, you should consider checking out the Chibakiya honten, which combines two of your passions---> http://www.chowhound.com/topics/347668 .
Thanks on Chibakiya. I saw your comments on that on the Japan board before (I wanted to go there but no time, last time). Doumo! (^_^)
Yah, there was a vendor from Hokkaido selling the Korokke! :) Here's my full review and pictures of all the different vendors:
(Formatted w/ All Pics here:)
exilekiss: Wow, a most impressive review (and appetite)!
Here are some photos (and videos) of the Costa Mesa event: http://www.flickr.com/photos/akatayama/sets/72157605124623822/
Like you, I found the Kukuru's takoyaki to be way underdone. Though in their defense I am told that that is their style, as is also the current fashion in Japan: http://www.flickr.com/photos/akatayama/2502283379/in/set-72157605124623822/
I also found the saba oshi-zushi to be completely uncompelling: http://www.flickr.com/photos/akatayama/2503123062/in/set-72157605124623822/
I found the saba to be of very poor quality, something that I should have already known given that my sushi chef has not stocked any lately for the very same reason.
What rescued what I thought to be rather mundane offerings at the fair (they had run out of the gyu-tan!) was a visit to nearby Marukai market. In addition to dropping in to Beard Papa for some shu cream puffs, apparently they had a special event going on featuring fresh fish brought in from Tsukiji Market! http://www.flickr.com/photos/akatayam...
Silverjay, I was all excited about the fair until I saw your comment about Tsukasa not being there...Is there a list of what WILL be at the NJ location? Thanks!
*ah, never mind, I just re-read the original post that had the locations. So, no Kujiraken soba either then..bummer.
**and just now realized that "shina soba" isn't really buckwheat soba, but ramen.
I thought Kujiraken was ok too. It didn't really impress me but it beats the $18 you'll have to forfeit for Chibakiya's Shark's Fin ramen. Now that wasn't worth it at all--at least in my opinion. I'll be back in CM on Saturday to try the Gyu-Tan...it looked damn good! Btw, parking was a b**** at CM so get there early!