Tampopo

The plan was to have lunch at Kong, but Kong is not yet open for lunch. So our plans were dashed. H/A and I had been talking about getting ramen, and didn’t really know a good place to get it, so we thought we’d give Tampopo a shot. I had also gotten my haircut a day earlier, and my stylist is adorable and japanese. I had asked her about ramen in philly and she said there is no good spot for it. Things were looking ominous.

There are three Tampopo locations, and we went to the one in west philly because it’s the only one open on sundays. It’s actually quite a cute spot. It’s also the newest one. You order your food, get a buzzer, and pick it up when it’s ready. There’s plenty of dining space and cute little stools. They serve mostly japanese food and some korean dishes as well. I have a feeling they’re run by koreans.The day actually turned out to be super hot, so I wasn’t in the mood for ramen anymore. But H/A and D both got the tampopo ramen. There is no choice, just one ramen dish. It has pork and chicken broth, chashu(braised pork), bok choy, fish cake, egg, and scallions. And the broth is shockingly super hot and spicy. It’s fine at first, and then it totally hits you. I liked it! It’s unlike any ramen you’ve had before, but because it was so different, I have to give it props. D thought the noodles were too doughy. H/A wolfed it down like he hadn’t eaten in days. Seriously, he ate the whole entire pile of noodles in one spoonful, it seemed.
J got the yakisoba and the miso soup. The yakisoba portion is a bit on the small side, especially for dudes, so beware. He got it with chicken, and he liked it very much. H/A also got yakisoba (yes, he was eating multiple meals) and he also liked it. The miso is just fine.
Since I wasn’t feeling the hot food, I wanted something cold. So I picked the fresh tuna bibimbap. Mine came with brown rice, raw tuna, avocado, Korean pear, cucumber, lettuce, and red and white cabbage in a slightly spicy/sesame oil dressing/sauce. Everything in this dish was raw, except for the rice, which was obviously cooked.Here’s the slop after you mix up all the goodies. I loved this! The flavor of this dish is quintessentially korean. But it’s something that everyone could like. You can get it without the raw tuna, so for those of you wary of raw fish, you can still enjoy this. It’s fresh, crunchy, and quite healthy. The texture is amazing. And the tuna is a nice touch. Others enjoyed this dish as well. I think the portion of rice was a bit on the paltry side, but otherwise, a perfect dish. I’ll definitely be back to Tampopo.

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