I heard the lines at Fuunji could be really, REAALLLLLLLY long.
After all, this Shinjuku shop is said to serve one of the, if not THE best tsukemen in the city, according to my trusted friends at Chowhound.com, and reaffirmed by my friend Mike who was there just recently and had "THE BEST. AS IN." dipping noodles in his life.
"You have to go to Fuunji, ok?" That was his last words to me before I left for Tokyo.
I arrived at 6pm and let out a small, excited squeal to see only 2 people waiting in line
I swallowed back my happy squeal as soon as I peeked into the restaurant. GULP.
What kind of sick torture is this??? To wait in line AND watch people enjoying their bowls of
tsukemen right in front of you, hearing the sounds of their slurps, seeing the pleasure on
their faces. It was so painful, physically, emotionally and mentally, I tell you.
BUT DO IT.
This machine is your friend. Feed it your money and press the sign
that says ¥1,000. That is the special Tokusei Tsukemen and it is
the only thing you should get.
The machine will give you this stub. Protect it with your life.
I tried not to look at the people who were eating and focused my attention on the people
preparing the food. The kitchen was so narrow, but they moved in such a choreographed
fashion that they never bumped into each other. So much grace under pressure.
And so much cuteness in the English-speaking chef on the left! Lol! :P
He motioned me to take the seat directly in front of him when it cleared up. OMG.
"Big or medium?" he asked me, referring to how much noodles I wanted with my broth.
"Small," I replied daintily, lowering my head and looking back up at him through my barely-there Chinese lashes. HAHAHAHAHA.
He gave me medium. Oh God, he saw through my lying, batting, flirting eyelashes!!!
I liked him more than ever.
But not as much as I loved the tsukemen he prepared for me. I can only imagine how long the
simmering process involved to bring this chicken and fish broth to its level of richness
and depth. So many layers of fish flavors clung to each fat strand of the chewy, bouncy
noodle. So much sensuality in every slurp.
Other treasures swam inside the bowl, like generous chunks of this most
tender and tasty pork.
And the perfect egg with a runny and gooey orange center
The joy didn't end there. After I finished up all the noodles, I poured soup from this stainless
pot into my remaining thick broth and drank it all to the very last drop. No, I was not being weird.
They do this in Japan, OK. Sorry, no more photos at this point because I could feel the pain
of the people waiting behind me.
And the people waiting outside Fuunji
And the people waiting across the street from Fuunji
I waited for the chef to make eye contact and thanked him for the super oishii meal before I very slowly and hesitantly walked out of the restaurant.
I will forever treasure his genuine smile and the twinkle in his eyes when he said to me these three little words that made my heart skip a thousand beats.
"See you soon."
Fuunji 風雲児: 2 Chome-14 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan
東京都渋谷区代々木2-14-3 北斗第一ビル 1F
See map here.