I met a friend for dinner the other night. She told me she's been having too much sex and wants to cut back a bit. I asked her what too much was so she started to list them. It could have sounded a lot to some, but when it comes to sexual encounters one person's idea of a flood is another person's idea of a drought.
The same can be said for most things this time of year. It's all about cutting back after the excessive indulges of the past two, three, four weeks... year. My housemate caught me eating cheese covered in mayonnaise yesterday. I'd skipped the bread and was barely even chewing - just hell bent on getting as much fat into my greedy little gob as possible. It's got to stop.
Quite apt then really that we'd met to try out the new Ramen range at Yo! Sushi - their latest foray into the world beyond fish. Ramen, or posh broth as I overheard a (northern) neighbouring diner call it, holds lots of hype about being a clincher in the cleansing steaks. Not too sure that it could cleanse my friends sexual slate, but for my pooped out pallet and me, I was holding high hopes.
Five variations give a good range to get going on: Miso-Dare Chicken, Chasiu Pork, Five Spice Beef, Seafood Fishcake and a Vegetarian Bean, all served in the katsuboshi stock of fish, veg and lots of soy. Clean tasting, the right side of salty, and packed with monstrously moorish bits and bobs like marinated bamboo shoots and shiitake mushrooms make all five quite easy winners. A stray hard boiled egg weirdly pops up when you get digging deep, but if you brush over that you can carry on unscathed.
Working our way through them all we came up with a clear pecking order of favourites: the chicken wins for its marinated credentials of miso and hoi sin sauce, followed by the pork for it's juicy throw back that hits you in the mouth. Seafood and Bean made third and fourth, with the beef only bringing up the behind because it was slightly too tough. Still edible mind, just not exactly melt in the mouth.
The fun, however, began with the add ons - as my friends tales of debauched sexual exploits spiced up the chat, I spiced up the food with hot chilli oil and garlic puree. Now I'm no Gillian McKeith but you know that a meal is doing it's cleansing job when your nose starts to run and you begin radiating chilli through your eyebrows.
Coming in at £7 or £8 each, with a nod to British produce and free range credentials, you can't really go wrong for a quick eat over lunch or a cleansing de-brief through your friends year's worth of sexual encounters. As for that, I personally would be more concerned about my post Christmas addiction to mayo covered cheese than her slightly over active libido, but I get her reasons for wanting to take stock. It is New Year after all.
Ramen vs Hunger is available at Yo! Sushi until February 2013.