Friday, October 12, 2012

Yume Wo Katare opens today @ 6pm!

for more information.

I just got back from a long day at Yume Wo Katare and my first bowl of ramen! They passed their inspections and will open today (Friday) at 6pm. Photos from the past couple of days.

My first bowl of Yume Wo Katare ramen!

The shop was packed when I arrived. Ten guys from Osaka flew in to help with the opening - they're only here today through Sunday and then they fly back to Osaka because the shop is closed while they're away. Someone from Thrillist was taking pictures, although it seems they haven't posted anything yet. All day long people were stopping by to see if they were open since the lights were on and there were so many people inside.

Tonight was a trial run of ramen for staff and friends. 

First group eagerly awaits their ramen.

So, how was my first bowl of ramen? Delicious, but overwhelming. The flavors are really strong - a lot of salt and fat. Since I'm helping out, they permitted me to have a half size order and I couldn't finish it. At Pikaichi I can usually eat everything AND drink the broth AND have a small bowl of curry rice, but not here. I ate all the noodles, pork, and cabbage but left most of the bean sprouts and broth and bits of seabura. It didn't help that I'd eaten dinner with Naomi-san at Christopher's several hours earlier, followed by several lobster claws (they made lobster to celebrate). The pork is delicious - both salty and a little sweet. Yume Wo Katare's noodles are thicker, somewhat like Okinawa soba. I must confess to being partial to skinnier ramen, but really, I'll eat any kind of Japanese noodles. The vegetables were crunchy and fresh. I'm sad to report that I couldn't really taste the seabura, possibly because I'm a little congested. I didn't get any fresh minced garlic, being allergic to it. I think there is some garlic in the broth so someone with a severe garlic allergy might not be able to have their ramen. I think most ramen shops have some garlic in the broth - either garlic oil or bits of garlic or both.

Everyone takes a picture of the first bowl of ramen.

The men, however, wolfed down ridiculously large bowls of ramen in record time. Much slurping, very little talking. The largest bowl of ramen I've ever seen disappeared into one of the skinnest guys I've ever seen. I suspect that you need to be starving or Japanese to make it through a whole bowl of their ramen. (One of my white friends once joked that he thought my ability to inhale a big bowl of ramen at Sapporo must be genetic because he struggled to get through his. After discovering he could order a smaller size, he could eat the whole thing.) Someone was telling me that Tsuyoshi-san's ramen is addictive - he said you're eating and eating and even if you start feeling a little sick because you're too full, you just keep eating because it's that good. This definitely isn't the kind of ramen I can eat every day or even every week.  Maybe once a month. Or two. I usually leave Sapporo hungry and Pikaichi is perfect with a side of curry rice, but Yume Wo Katare is more than I can handle for one meal.

The first bowl of ramen!
The largest bowl of ramen I've ever seen.

The last bowl of ramen was for Tsuyoshi-san himself.

Last bowl of the night.

Tsuyoshi-san finally eats.

Some things I missed in my last post:

* CASH ONLY - Nearest ATMs are Cambridge Savings Bank next to CVS & Sign of the Dove, Bank of America, Citibank.

* You pay first and receive a ramen token, which will be picked up from you when your ramen is delivered you are seated.

* There's MSG in the ramen. Japanese love their MSG (Ajinomoto). I saw Tsuyoshi-san throw a generous pinch of MSG into each bowl. I didn't have a chance to clarify if there's also MSG already in the broth. I'll try to find out.

* Although there's no take-out for ramen, you can buy the pork to take home - 500g (17.64 oz) for $15.

* The restaurant seats only 16 - 10 at the large table, 6 at the counter. If you can get a counter seat, those are the best seats in the house. You can watch Tsuyoshi-san in action and he'll serve you your ramen.

* Their posted hours are 6pm to 10pm, Tuesday through Saturday, but Naomi-san told me they will only serve 100 bowls of ramen each night so if it's a slow night, they could be open late. I imagine if it's a really busy night, they might close early. 10/21/12: So I've been wondering if Naomi has just said 100 before they knew how popular they would be. They've served over 100 bowls of ramen every night. Friday 10/20 was 169. They ran out of noodles and had to make more. I think usually the line would be closed if they were out of noodles, but there was a big group of 19 that got in after they were officially closed for reasons which I didn't understand due to the language barrier.

* I was mistaken about the cost of the small frame rental for the wall of dreams and I neglected to mention 2 other sizes. $10 for 3 month frame, $50 for 6 month frame, $100 for 12 month frame, $10,000 for 10 year frame.

* They are hiring waitstaff. Hours are 5:30pm to 11pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Pay is $8/hr during training and $10/hr after you're trained. Fluency in Japanese is required. Please inquire at the restaurant. I realize most people reading this probably aren't fluent in Japanese, but perhaps you know someone who is who's looking for a job!

I think I might finally be done digesting my ramen and can go to sleep!

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