It’s been a few days since Murakami-san had the chance to sit with me, so when he finally showed up after meeting with his lawyer (MP stress) it felt nice to just kick back and drink some beer and shochu. And yes, he did perform a couple disappearing acts tonight but I’ll get to that later.
This Tanmen invoked a very nostalgic flavor from my childhood. In the late 80’s, my mom used to take my brothers and I to this Chinese Restaurant in Fountain Valley called Fountain Chinese Restaurant. It doesn’t exist anymore, but back in the day it was owned by a Chinese family that once lived in Japan and the ramen was phenomenal. The last I heard, they moved to Las Vegas and opened a restaurant in one of the big casinos. Man, those were the days.
Foo-Foo Tei’s Tanmen is just as good, if not better, than that ramen from my childhood. It begins with a little pork fat in a wok that’s heated to an extremely high temperature. Then you begin adding all the ingredients in precise steps while feeling the heat and testing the aroma. Once everything has been added, the soup is then poured on top of everything, creating a mushroom cloud of steam that hits your face with shocking tenacity. Sprinkle a little crushed goma on top and a masterpiece is born. And if you want, you can also add some pepper and vinegar to adjust the Tanmen to your liking.
I must admit I was a little scared of Murakami-san’s comment yesterday, especially after his drawn out sinister laugh. So when he first disappeared tonight, I contemplated running out the door…hahaha (I would never do that!). He returned with the following: 2 slices of French bread lightly toasted and topped with something odd-looking.
A closer look revealed that it was spread with beef liver mixed with pepper shiso and topped with Pi~tan (Century Egg) and a thinly sliced piece of celery. A remarkably light-tasting otsumami that was nothing like the “cucucu” I was afraid of.
As I was about to leave, Exile Kiss showed up and joined us at our table. And when we started talking about noodles and soba, Murakami-san got up and disappeared for the second time. When he returned, he presented both Exile Kiss and I with this beautiful soumen dish. Wow! This was good stuff! Murakami-san ありがとうございました！
Murakami-san also gave me this pack of Chinese Instant 生 Ramen that he found at the market today. It’s unusual to find a nama ramen from a Chinese company so I was excited to take it home. And although Murakami-san doesn’t guarantee that it tastes good, I can’t wait to give it a try.
Tomorrow’s ramen: Nanchatte Chanpon