Today, I was up for a challenge. It was another hot summer day, I was up early, and I wanted to go to Menya Shichisai (麺や 七彩). There was only one problem. There is no direct train or bus to Toritsukasei and the fastest way to get there would be by bicycle, which would take at least 25 min one way. 'Hmm, it's really hot out. Maybe I shouldn't go,' I thought. Eff it, I've been wanted to try Shichisai for the longest time. Let's hit the road!
So yeah, that was a long ride, especially in the heat. This ramen better be good!
Shichisai has been getting a lot of hype lately. They're practically in every ramen publication and on tv shows just about every month. I'll say this once: Shichisai is no joke. That 参った plaque on the wall is just one indication. They actually swept the board by getting an approval from every single judge.
And they even put on a different mask during the evening hours. Shichisai by day and Tokyo Miso Ramen Edoama (TOKYO味噌らーめん 江戸甘) by night. I guess I'll have to come back for that.
Shichisai hails from Kitakata, the land of awesome noodles. If you remember from my recent trip to Nagoya, it was Shichisai's noodles that Yamamoto-san replicated at his shop. The picture below shows the staff member squeezing and smashing the noodles to make them wavy. But I'll leave it to Nate to break it down for ya.
Okay here I go. Shoyu Chashu Ramen.
The first few sips were not very impressive. But this is why you should never leave a bowl unfinished. With every sip I took, the shoyu ramen kept getting better and better and better. The fresh, organic flavors kept multiplying from the tip of my tongue down to the back of my throat.
The noodles are inarguably fantastic. They make me want to move to Kitakata someday...
Okay...I now have something very serious to share. Something that may make you re-prioritize your ramen wish list. Shichisai has by far THE BEST CHASHU that I have ever tasted in a bowl of ramen...EVER! The chashu ramen comes with two types, sirloin and belly. Both are amazingly tender and virtually perfect.
From now on, if anyone asks me that question I am most often asked ("Aside from Bassanova, which ramen shop would you recommend?"), I will definitely answer Menya Shichisai without a doubt in my mind.
I have to say this again: Shichisai is no joke!