The Second Day of Ramen-mas

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An improvised Japanese place setting

Friday night was ramen and retro gaming night, as you might be able to tell from the place setting and the SNES controllers. The tenugui I brought back from Tokyo, a Traditional Japanese dyed piece of cotton, became the focus of the place setting. The ceramic spoons were Chinese, but then again, so were the noodles! Ramen is a dish centred around Chinese wheat noodles, and combined with a delicious soup and a range of other toppings. The real thing is a far cry from super noodles, and before I had proper ramen, the idea of noodle soup was definitely foreign. Noodles were something to be eaten with a stir fry, or cooked until there was almost no moisture left, and only a thick sauce remained. Super noodles are good and all, but once you’ve had ramen, you’ll never go back. On Thursday, I didn’t have any miso paste so instead I opted for a soy based soup which worked quite well. I made a trip to Lee Foods on Donegall Pass to stock up on miso and a few other essentials (yes, dried roasted seaweed is an essential). The pork and ramen eggs were already prepared, so all I had to do was make the soup and boil the noodles.

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The crane chopstick rest Sarah brought me from San Francisco

Many a game was played last night, spanning almost every genre and platform. A bunch of great SNES and Mega Drive titles, and one MSX game. Well, some less than great, but most playable. Well, some much more playable than others. Super Bomberman 2, for example is fantastic and still holds up to this day. Addictive, fast-paced, and mind-blowingly frustrating at times, we played it for a considerable amount of time before giving up. It was my particular strength, though Seamus brutalised me in Mortal Kombat II on the Sega 32X and Street Fighter II Turbo on SNES. Fighting games are not my strong suit given my lack of knowledge of anyone’s moves. Though apparently I’m also terrible at most platformers. Earthworm Jim is brutally difficult and we didn’t make it far at all. Earthworm Jim 2 went downhill from the first, and the graphics took a hit. Of the superhero games, the Captain America beat ’em up was awful, the Spiderman game was also dreadful, though the X-Men Mega Drive game was great, and incredibly ambitious for the time. One of my personal favourites was Pocky and Rocky, a shoot ’em up unlike most others, starring a Japanese girl and a raccoon fighting ghosts, spirits, and many other folks. It could even be considered a cute ’em up, but like many games of the age, it is deadly. There were a few great games set in the wild west, but those did not include Back to the Future 3, which was another awful one. It throws you straight into the gameplay with no explanation of what’s going on, and soon after that you will fall off your horse. You’re supposed to be chasing after Clara on a runaway carriage/stage coach, but if she’s depending on us to save her, she’s screwed. There were way too many games to write about, but for now, enjoy this picture of miso ramen. It was a lot better than most of the games.

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Miso ramen with nori, sweetcorn, spring onions, spinach, pork belly, and soy eggs

 

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