Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Omizu o Kudasai

The weather report keeps talking about the cold front that has crashed head-on with the fourth typhoon of the season. My feelings on the resulting deluge are a mixture of relief and dismay- a break from the heat is most welcome, but being soaked from head to toe due to my umbrella’s incapability to block rain blowing sideways is not so nice.

What is nice is the chance to have my last steaming hot bowl of ramen at my favorite diner that serves that sort of thing before we get blasted by heat from which there is no escape.

While the ramen is quite delicious, as is the gyoza (Chinese fried dumplings), there is one thing that makes this particular restaurant better than many others of its class.

There’s ice cold water in a pitcher at your immediate and personal disposal should one glass fail to quench your thirst.

The ready availability of water is more similar to Europe than to the US. Normally it must be requested, especially if you’re in a more traditional restaurant that serves piping hot green tea regardless of the season. Even if it’s brought unasked, the glass sizes are about half the smallest drinking glass you can imagine while still being able to call it a glass in good conscience. Then there’s the whole calling out for the server to come fill your glass that I’ll never get used to (it just seems so rude), despite the fact that this reluctance can leave me still thirsty even as I pay my bill.

Yes, I heartily approve of places who unabashedly display their abundant water supply.


Ljw said...

Most of the time, you couldn't PAY me to drink the water in the US. It usually tastes so bad and so much like chlorine that it ruins whatever I'm eating. I'd have to be choking or seriously dehydrated to drink what's usually set out in restaurants here. Even when they put ice in your soda it can really come through tasting bad. I hope the water quality..or at least taste is better for you there, than what I've described!

Kyle said...

Well, it's the simple things in life that make us appreciate it more, I suppose.
So, this is probably going to be borderline sacrilegious, but is Raman from a raman resturant significantly better than cup raman from my local grocer? I suppose it's a dumb question, but what do they do differently that makes it better (assuming it is)?
Anyway, bummer about the weather, but it'll pass... and then things will be ridiculously hot again. Yay!

Star said...

I have to agree, some of the water in the states taste like it came straight out of a high school swimming pool.

I like to think the water quality is better here, but it may just be a hallucination due to impending dehydration.

Star said...

... when you get the chance to taste ramen at a resturant that specializes in it, you will get arrested 3 weeks later at your local grocer for swiping the dried cup ramen and tossing it into the dumpster around the corner...

It's the quality of the broth and the egg noodles that really makes a good bowl of ramen. Usually the broth is pork based with miso thrown in, but I suspect they do variations as well. The rest of the extras are just bonus, like the bamboo and the seaweed and such.

Ljw said... swimming pool. SO VIVID!! ::gag::