Thursday, November 02, 2006

Pumpkin Meditation

Obsession of the month would have to be Ramen Halu. It's lucky this particular establishment has so few seats that almost every visit involves waiting in line for a table. Otherwise I'd likely be there every other day.

The menu is simple, three soup bases, two kinds of noodles, the combinations are fixed. Try as I do, I've not yet succeeded in having them substitute my favorite noodles in my favorite soup base. They do allow you to control the amount of fat and salt in the soup. I shudder to think how a more fat, more salt soup would taste. I usually request they dial back in both categories. But as much as I enjoy the soup, it's the chewy noodles that keep me waiting in line again and again. Totally different than the packaged variety, I favor the thick, substantive noodles that disappear all too quickly from the bowl.

On my most recent visit I decided it was high time I try the Halloween Special, which promised "bats and a full moon in your bowl." The noodles had pumpkin incorporated into them. I couldn't tell much difference between the pumpkin and regular thick noodles, save, perhaps, a slight sweetness in the squash variety. I was amused by the seaweed bats and the half egg that was the moon. The cheese was a surprise, and a bit odd to be honest. But the broth was worthwhile. And the fried pumpkin chips a nice touch, though they were soggy by the time I found them.

Next time I'm getting the halu ramen. And the time after that the shio ramen. And the time after that...


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