The ramen shop Aka Chochin is located in the Takasen area of Aikawa, Sado Island.
Whenever I talk about ramen with people at work, the topic of this ramen shop, Akachochin, always comes up. If it has such a good reputation, I've always wanted to try it at least once, but I've never been able to go.
This is because the location of this red lantern is quite difficult. Takasen is a very inaccessible place for people living in the centre of Sado City.
For me, whose home is near Ryotsu in the Kuninaka Plain, there are three choices to go to Takachi: via Futatsugame, via Aikawa or over Kanabokuyama. However, the Osado Skyline over Kanabokuyama is closed in winter, so there are practically two options. In addition, the road via Futatsugame is very narrow and may be difficult to pass through when there is snowfall.
In the end, the only option left at this time of year is via Aikawa.
So we decided to go via Aikawa. Even though we think it is a bit far to go to Aikawa, we have to go further north along the coast from there. On the way, we pass through what is probably the longest tunnel on Sado Island. This tunnel is very new and beautiful.
It's almost through the tunnel. The shop is located in the Takashita area of Takasen. It is easy to find as the A Co-op Takasen shop appears on the left hand side just before the shop. There are only a few parking spaces in the shop, so I was allowed to park in an open space at the boat landing behind the shop.
I got out of the car and walked to the shop, passing a mother with her children on the way. The mother greeted me with a 'hello'. The child smiled and waved at me. The scenery in Takachian is a little sad, but the people's hearts are warm.
Now we are at the shop. The time was around 12.30 pm.
When they entered the restaurant, there were two customers ahead of them at the counter. Go to the seating area on the left. Signs of enka singers and other autographs are posted on the wall. There are no menus on the tables and you have to order by looking at the tags on the counter.
Ramen 700 yen, gyoza 400 yen, A set (ramen + gyoza) 1,000 yen, so I ordered A set without hesitation.
I was worried that it might be a restaurant with a high threshold, where you have to exchange small talk in the Kote Kote Kote Sado dialect before you can order, but I was relieved to find that the waitress was a normal, urbane young woman. I could hear children's excited voices coming from the kitchen.
After a while, set A was brought in. The soup is quite nice and clear.
Now let's start with the soup. Yes, it's a good chicken broth. The oil content is low and the soup is light but rich. The temperature is neither too warm nor too hot.
Next, the noodles.
Shrunken thin noodles, soft boiled and good. The chashu pork had a thick layer of fat on it, but it was not too assertive and kept a good balance with the soup. Overall, the soup was light and not boring. It was like old-fashioned Chinese noodles. It's a great way to finish off a night of drinking. And the gyoza. The filling is finely minced, garlicky and tasty.
While they were eating, children sat down next to them and started eating 'makanai rice'. Naturally, the 'makanai rice' was ramen. It is a homely restaurant.
(By the way, the previous customers had already finished what they had ordered, but they continued to stay in their seats as if they were waiting for something. After a while, the proprietress (* not the young woman who took the order) emerged from the kitchen into the drawing room and presented the proprietress with some clothes that one of the previous customers had brought. The landlady examined the clothes presented to her and thanked her. What was this all about? (Is this a mail order service for the high millennium?)
Now, the ramen was from Akachochin, which is reputed to be the best ramen shop on Sado Island. In a word, it's like orthodox Chinese soba noodles. Readers are asked to find out for themselves whether it is worth the long drive to Takasen.
- cheap eating and drinking place
- Address: 1645-6, Kitatanoura, Sado City, Niigata Prefecture.
- Telephone number: 0259-78-2220