…roughly translates to a “flower garden.” And it is the name of an Asian noodle restaurant in downtown Port Townsend, Washington.
We (cousin David, Chuck, and I) were headed down a side street toward a destination to be blogged about tomorrow and my stomach was telling me that it was well past lunchtime. We walked past a coffeehouse and deli, but that didn’t seem to interest any of us. And then we came to Hanazono Asian Noodle. What did any of us know about Asian noodle restaurants? Not that much. So why not learn?
But this was certainly not the ramen sold ten for a dollar and the staple for many a college student. David’s version was full of tofu, pork, and bamboo and, as described on the specials’ board, “stir fried in a spicy gravy” and served over ramen noodles.
Chuck is less intrigued by Asian noodle soups than I am, so he went a more traditional route. His choice was the Yakisoba (焼きそば?), noodles which are “literally fried noodles (and) is considered a Japanese dish but originated in China and is technically a derivative of Chinese chow mein. It first appeared in food stalls in Japan at some point during the early 20th century. “Although soba means buckwheat, typically suggesting noodles made from that flour in mainland Japan, yakisoba noodles are made from wheat flour similar to ramen…. It is prepared by frying ramen-style noodles with bite-sized pork, vegetables…and flavored with yakisoba sauce, salt and pepper. It is served with a multitude of garnishes, such as aonori (seaweed powder), beni shoga (shredded pickled ginger), katsuobushi (fish flakes), and mayonnaise” (wikipedia.org). The yakisoba sauce seems to be a mixture of oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sake or water.
Chuck’s dish was a beautiful plate of noodles, pork, cabbage, carrots, onions, mung bean sprouts, cilantro, pickled daikon, and seaweed and had the flavors that I closely associate with Chinese food. Which is not surprising given its Chinese foundation.
Now every once in a while I make a smart decision. My champon came in both a small and large size. “Just how large is the large” I asked our server. She left the table and came back and showed me two empty bowls. The small will be plenty. And the comparison between David’s large mabo ramen and my small champon is shown as evidence.