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Salt and Fat

If you are a fat guy like I am a fat guy, you know that the best food is really a balance between fat, and salt, which is one of the reasons why bacon is so delicious. The cheese on a burger, the butter you dip the lobster in, the reason why so many people use ranch dressing on their salad. Salt, and fat.

If you are a fat guy like I am a fat guy, then you also know that one of the best displays of salt, and fat comes in the form of a bowl of ramen. No, not that freeze dried slop that you get in single serving packages, I'm talking about a steaming bowl of stock that has taken at least one whole day and parts of three animals to make. I'm talking about the freshly made thick cut wheat noodles all chewy and bursting with flavour. I'm talking about the two or three slabs of tenderly cooked, lovingly marinated, delightfully presented pork belly, the fat striations melting in your mouth, disolving into rich, meaty puddles, maybe rolling a bit down your chin. I'm talking about the soft boiled egg, its yolk spilling into the rest of the bowl as you fumble at it with your chop sticks.

There are a varitable smattering of styles, methods, and takes on this relatively new japanese culinary tradition. All are good, some are great. Unfortunately, given the rather small size of Winnipeg's population, there are really only two serious options for the ramen enthusiast: Cho Ichi Ramen, and Kyu Bistro.

Cho Ichi Ramen, located at 1151 Pembina, is the standard of ramen to which I will ever strive and ever fail to achieve. Their Tonkotsu style ramen is rich and meaty. They make their noodles in house, which shows though in spades. Their broth is delightfully smooth. And the chasu pork belly and shoulder a truly pleasure to the senses. Their portions are generous, and the atmosphere pleasant. I highly recommend the Pork Shoyu, or Pork Garlic Chili. Either or both, their Chicken or Pork Bao are excellent ways to start your meal.

Kyu Bistro at  185 Isabelle st., comes in at a very close second. I have never had a meal at this place without wishing I had room for thirds. If you are dining with someone who foolishly does not understand why a fatty piece of pork belly is something they should put in their mouth, basically everything else on the menu is fantastic as well. They change their menu from time to time, which is exciting, since everything they make is delicious. I recommend the Shio Pork Ramen, or the Yaki Udon noodles.

Stay fat.

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