I have talked before about how Japanese people are prepared to queue up outside restaurants for long times if it means getting good quality food. As one who has not much sense of taste when it comes to food I have always found this way of thinking as a little crazy, particularly in Tokyo where there is always gonna be another restaurant around the corner.
When I met up with my mate Shinji on Friday I felt like a change from the usual cheap and cr*ppy tabe-hodai (all-you-can-eat) places we go to. So instead we decided to go to ‘Tonchin‘ which is a ramen restaurant on one of the backstreets in Ikebukuro which always seems to have long queues of people waiting outside it. Luckily we went late afternoon so we were straight in and once we had worked out the ticket machine we were ready.
For me, ramen is still basically just a load of noodles in some soup with some other stuff dumped in there for good measure. I usually prefer my food to be a bit more solid looking rather than of the liquid variety. To be honest though it was nice and I am glad that I have now been to ‘Tonchin’ but I still don’t think its something I would wait in line for.
Also, these places can be a little intimidating as they’re not so foreigner-friendly in terms of English or pictures and one can feel under pressure when facing the ticket machine with a load of people waiting behind you while you try and work out the Japanese so I was thankful that I had a Japanese friend with me although it wasn’t straightforward for him either.