Off to A Foreign Land 〜四川麻辣湯(Sichuan Mala Noodle)@ Ikebukuro〜

店内I recently like the jumbled up atmosphere around the western and northern Exits of Ikebukuro Station.

The other day, I walked into a bean vermicelli shop that I had been attracted to for a while. It is located around the corner of Cinema Rosa.

You can choose from bean vermicelli, noodles and rice (each 380yen) as a staple food to put in the soup, as well as three more toppings (each 100 yen). You could also choose the spiciness. Refill for the staple is free. I think its cost performance is good.

As a spicy foods fan, I chose the medium spicy soup, and added fresh coriander, sliced pork, quail eggs, beef tendon and Jew’s ears. It cost 880yen in total.

麺A young couple sitting next to me was chatting in Chinese and a Spitz’s song covered by a female singer was streaming from the radio. This situation somewhat made me feel like I was in a foreign land.

After the couple left, I was only customer in the shop. So I talked to the waitress, who had a charming smile. She spoke only a little bit of Japanese and our conversation was disjointed, but I got to know that she was a student from Dalian, China. As I was slurping up the vermicelli after our short conversation, she brought me a couple of slices of spam as a service and put them into my bowl,  saying that it was the Chinese’s favorite topping. I looked at the shelf of toppings and realized that spam was called Cow’s fat in Chinese. I thought to myself that I wouldn’t dare choose it, but it was delicious. It convinced me that it was indeed a popular topping among the Chinese.

It was nice to be exposed to foreign food culture even if it was just a little and her kindness touched me. Even if her way of service was a sales technique, I would say it worked indeed, because I went back to the shop three days later.

I recommend this place if you want to feel like being in a foreign atmosphere.


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