Last week, our friend Sarah introduced us to Tampopo, a nutty 1985 Japanese film that chronicles the tale of a widowed ramen-shop owner who trains like a boxer to go from soup-failure to soup-er ramen chef. Along the way there are random subplots concerning the love of food, all of which are a little hard to describe. It’s billed as the first Japanese noodle western. What a great movie!
Someone at the New York Times must have seen Tampopo recently as well, since the front page of today’s Dining Out section (Here Comes Ramen, the Slurp Heard Round the World) is all about ramen as a Japanese phenom and about NYC’s new authentic ramen shops. The only NYC ramen shop I’ve been to is Menchanko-Tei in East Midtown, which didn’t make the Times’ list but is authentic and cheap (The Times doesn’t do cheap). I can’t wait to get out and slurp at some of the new places in the article.
Since Tampopo, I’ve also been reminiscing about Wagamama, the London-based noodle shop that, since I live in the UK in 1997, has opened shops all across England and a smattering of other nations. Having spent tons of weekends in London, Wagamama provided the perfect refuge for a student trying to get by on ₤30 / day (that’s including lodging, people!). I remember always leaving with sake-warmed cheeks and full of substantial food, a wonderful feeling. I might have the chance to spend 1/2 my summer back in London this year, and if so, chain or no chain, I’ll be right back at Wagamama.