When it comes to ramen, there are many tastes and regional variations whether it be shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), tonkotsu (pork bone broth) in Kyushu or miso ramen which is served up in Hokkaido. On top of that come the crazy novelty ones which include things like cheese, coffee, ice-cream, tequila, kiwi, ham, lemon, pineapple, sake and so on. The kind of things that the true ramen masters would most definitely turn their nose up at!
Pizza and ramen is a pretty heavy lunch combo but this particular fusion cuisine thankfully allows you to enjoy both in one dish. Located on a quiet backstreet, Ajito Ism (37-4 Oi, Shinagawa-ku) is about five minutes walk from Oimachi Station. This was actually a place I went to way back in December 2018 although the two photos below were shot recently when I tried to go again. However, it was closed due to the State of Emergency caused by Covid_19.
Their signature dish is the award winning pizza mazesoba; soup-less noodles served with vegetable-based tomato sauce, cheese, salami, vegetables and spices. As someone who is not such a fan of tomato-based dishes I played safe and went for the smaller sized portion at 850 yen.
The ramen-master Miura-San is a rock music fan and the store is full of his CD collection and the music of Queen was very evident when I went there. It was shortly after `Bohemian Rhapsody` (2018) had been released but I`m sure he was no bandwagon jumper!
When my order was placed in front of me it was clear to see that it was a wonderful-looking dish full of colour. Admittedly, I was a little apprehensive about this dry-style ramen incorporating sauce rather than soup.
The word maze means mix which I was told to do thoroughly, and when you begin to mix it up it certainly looks different as the sauce blends in and rises to the surface. The noodles were thick and chewy (I`m sure I always say that!) and the taste was really great with the shredded cheese blending well with the dashi (Japanese fish stock) and tomato broth.
I wolfed it down in no time at all as it was absolutely delicious and such a pleasant surprise. I`m not sure if I really thought of it as eating ramen as it felt like just eating pasta in some ways. The ramen master supposedly has a load more alternative ramen dishes up his sleeve that combine Japanese and Italian styles, and if they ever appear on the menu then I will be in line to experience them.
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