Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Samurai Noodle – Chinatown-International District, Seattle

Posted on: Thursday 01 September 2011

If we were to play a word association game, the word ‘samurai’ conjures up the Samurai Pizza Cats anime for me. I have only vague memories of the show dubbed in English. Sword wielding, crime fighting cats who are undercover (or are they moonlighting) as owners of a pizzeria?

I found myself humming the tune of the theme song as I approached Samurai Noodle. Samurai Pizza Cats! Pepperoni, anchovies. Samurai Pizza Cats! I digress.

Huddled next to the entrance of Uwajimaya Village, Samurai Noodle’s street frontage is dominated by a large poster declaring ‘Seattle’s best ramen soup’ with scintillating photos of steaming bowls of noodle soups.

A red lantern and navy noren hang above the doorway. Laminated printouts are tacked on the glass panes advertising specials and exalting the health benefits of konnyaku.

Inside is a small L shaped dining room with the kitchen operating out of a narrow corridor. The menu is divided into ramen and rice, and a long list of extra toppings including the aptly named samurai armour and shōgun combo.

Samurai themed paraphernalia like sumo calendars, t-shirts and printed articles decorate the walls. The tables are deceptively spacious but the stools are awkward to perch on.

A cute wall mounted condiment shelf was loaded with salt and pepper shakers and containers of Japanese seasoning, sesame seeds, pickled ginger and chilli flakes.

I ordered the tonkotsu, not to be confused with tonkatsu which is crumbed pork cutlet. A traditional dish from Hakata, the cloudy soup is made with pork bone, a rich source of collagen. The milky broth is viscous and soothing. A thick slice of pork, green onions and black mushrooms float above the thin, firm ramen.

Service is brisk and I gladly vacated my stool as soon as I emptied the bowl.

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