One of the best parts of being in Sake Gumi is attending our Sake Gumi Social events. We host tastings, dinners, and tours centering around sake education and drinking. To tie in with the past couple months of Sake Gumi (last month, the theme was Hiroshima, this month the theme is noodles), we collaborated with JJ, tsukemen extraordinaire, at Ramen Shop to provide our Gumi members with the ultimate Hiroshima dining experience. To pair along with the Hiroshima sakes we picked out for Sake Gumi last month, we asked JJ to make a Hiroshima-style Tsukemen. This regional dish is a little spicy from the chili oil with a hit of tang from the vinegar.
Kayoko recently wrote about this regional dish on the blog, and JJ's version featured special noodles (flat, with a higher ratio of egg for an extra bounce), topped with smoked Monterey sardine, shoyu-marinated egg, cherry tomatoes, and pea sprouts. The noodles were complemented with a bright, red dipping sauce that uses reduced dashi, tare, ponzu, rayu and tomato confit oil.
JJ makes tsukemen every Monday at Ramen Shop, but this was the first time he tried his hand at Hiroshima Tsukemen. We'd say it was a huge success and hope to see it on the menu again at Ramen Shop.
Here are the special noodles that JJ created for the tsukemen that night. He usually uses 5% egg in the flour for the noodles at Ramen Shop, but pumped it up to 50% egg to complement the reduced dashi dipping sauce.
Here's JJ preparing a bowl for our members.
Into the boiler they go.
The first bowl that came out for an OG member was paired with a complimentary glass of Kamotsuru Tokubetsu Junmai Genshu from Hiroshima.
This sake is bold, smoky with a hint of blackberries. Jackie held it down at the bar, pouring both bottles all night long.
Oodles of noodles.
The dipping sauce is heavily populated with sesame seeds so each noodle gets coated in them.
At the bar, both the Fukucho Biho Junmai Ginjo and Kamotsuru Tokubetsu Junmai Genshu (both August Sake Gumi selections) were being poured to all guests – members and non-members.
Umami Mart Sake Selection!
Doors opened at 5pm and people filled both the front and back bars.
All of the other items on the menu were equally memorable.
Ramen Shop always delivers when it comes to salad. This little gems salad was topped with tomatoes, fried scallions and sweet red peppers.
The squid fried rice is always a favorite at Ramen Shop – it features a spicy shrimp-chili paste made in-house by Siew Chin.
A dinner at the Ramen Shop is never complete without dessert. I know I should venture out more, but I can never resist the Black Sesame Ice Cream Sandwich.
Thank you to our members who helped us celebrate Hiroshima! And a big thanks to JJ, Chris, Sam, Ray and the rest of the Ramen Shop crew for being so open to collaboration. Let's do it again next year!
Join Sake Gumi today for special invitations to events like this one!