Crude concrete walls; bare light bulbs; exposed ceiling ducts; flickering video monitor; kitchen crew in black... Yes indeed, I'm back at Afuri — the Ebisu branch, my favourite — first time in a while.
But instead of ordering my usual — the excellent, fragrant yuzu-shio-men — this time I go for the beni-shoyu-men. It's still light and refined, but there's enough rayu in the soup not just to give it that beni (scarlet) colour, but to bring a proper bead of sweat to the brow. Sometimes you don't want delicacy and aroma: you want a bit of heft and heat.
Perfect for keeping out the winter chill.
The only gripe: they don't offer kaedama (extra servings of noodles) to mop up all that excellent spicy soup. You can order a small side bowl of rice, though.
I've posted about Afuri several times already. That's because it's always good, especially at that time of the evening just before you head to the station to get the late train home.