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Kyoto - Tsuru Kama tsukemen

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Thoroughly enjoyed this place for its tsukemen. They do a shoyu, a slightly spicy miso with chile oil, and third spicier one whose name I don't recall. The place is run by a few somewhat younger gentleman and the kitchen is directly on the other side of the counter. They make their own noodles, and the shoyu-based broth has tons of katsuo and niboshi for a deep intense flavor. We all ordered the tsukemen sets with karaage and rice - also very good - and were stuffed by the end of our meals. I am sorry that I don't recall the address, but they are close to the Nishiki Food Market by Fujiidaimaru and Teramachikyogoku arcade. The sets were around 1050 yen per and the nama beer is bottled - Suntory "Malts," which was perfect with our meals. Definitely more of a local place, but they do have an English menu for knuckleheads like me who can only read hiragana and katakana...

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  1. We couldn't help but repeat a meal at Tsuru Kama. They're directly across from the Best Western in the Nishiki Food Market area. We all ordered shoyu-based tsukemen or ramen and were once again wowed. The complexity and depth of flavors is coupled with top notch noodles.

    The third type of tsukemen that I couldn't remember the name of is umakara - "sweet-spicy."

    Two separate Japanese couples who appeared to be from out of the area strolled in and ordered the shoyu tsukemen as well. Their comments were, "Maa - umai!! Yokattane..." "Sugoku umai!!" The female of one of the couples was scolding her male counterpart to slow down on his slurping. "Sonna hayaku tabenaimo!!"

    They also do a killer marinated soft-boiled egg (ajitsuke tamago). I think they source the eggs from a particular farm, as they had a flyer on the refrigerator indicating it, and the egg yolk itself was a super dark orange.

    At the current exchange rate of about $.80 per 100 yen, the meal for four came to a very reasonable $52 for four. Two tsukemen/karaage sets, two ramen/karaage sets, two ajitsuke tamago, one side order of roast chashu, and one Suntory Malt's beer.

    Not to bemoan the point, but even the rice was amai. I know this is true for the vast majority of rice served in places in Japan, but that clean flavor with just a subtle sweetness that Japanese people yearn for in their rice is so pleasant.