Madai Ramen Machikado (真鯛らぁめん まちかど) in Tokyo's Ebisu district follows the recent trend of sea bream (madai) ramen. But it adds some modern, delicious twists.
Machikado - Sea Bream Ramen with a Twist
Many in Japan believe that sea bream (madai) is the most delicious fish in the sea. Machikado decided to make this fish the chief ingredient in their ramen. I believe they've done a stellar job. How they prepare the sea bream soup is quite unique.
They fry sea bream bones before boiling them to make the soup. In addition, they boil pasta noodles in the same soup. This gives it a thicker, much starchier consistency. It also has a richer, milkier flavor than other sea bream ramen bowls.
The overall presentation suggests that this isn't your typical ramen. The head chef actually started out in Italian cuisine. Broiled sea bream sashimi slices make for amazing toppings. The lemon slice provides some acidity to pierce through the richer broth too.
Spicy Sea Bream Tantanmen
Machikado also does tantanmen, a spicier ramen. In it, bright red chili oil covers the top. Once you break past this layer with your spoon or chopsticks, you can taste the sea bream again.
In this manner, you'll be going back and forth between spiciness and that sea bream richness. Lastly, the noodles are closer to pasta noodles than ramen ones.
This is because they durum wheat flour and not kansui (lye water). Kansui is almost always found in ramen noodles, giving them extra springiness.
Perhaps this dish is half Japanese, half Italian. Either way, Machikado has created something inventive and super delicious.