Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Katōya (Ramen Expo / Shiga-ken, Otsu-shi)

まぼろしのちゅうかそば かとうや
Maboroshi no Chuuka Soba Katouya

Shoyu niboshi ramen: 17 / 20

Haven eaten quite my share of ramen in Tokyo during my recent stay, I was thinking to eat only one bowl at the Ramen Expo. However, after finishing the curious Naniwa ramen club bowl, the temptation was high, and the small size of the bowls convinced me to try another ramen that looked very tempting, a niboshi shoyu from Shiga. From outside, both the broth and the noodles looked relatively similar to the former one:

Broth: Ah!!! That’s what I like. A dark shoyu, very strong niboshi broth, yummy! That’s definitely one of my favorite kind of broth.

Noodles: They looked quite similar to the former bowl's noodles: relatively straight, slightly thicker than usual, yellowish - to say it short, very typical ‘chuka soba’ noodles. But definitely more firm. Despite this, the taste of the broth sticked well to them.

Meat: A smoky thin slice of beef: both original and delicious.

Toppings: The two thick and fibrous menma in this bowl really puzzled me: they were so hard to chew that they definitely seemed undercooked. Could it be that the conditions to prepare a ramen were not optimal at the EXPO 70 park? I can believe so - wait for my reviews of later bad experience at ramen fairs!

Except for the menma, this bowl was a great success, appealing to my love of strong niboshi shoyu. Excellent. It looks that this restaurant has quite a few shops across Kansai, and even one in Osaka, but most of them seem to specialize in some kind of jiro ramen - you can only find the niboshi at their Shiga shop.

Also, I could taste a little bit of Daruma’s ramen that Ben's friend ordered. I’m no expert in Hakata ramen, but it seemed to me slightly thicker and stronger in taste than the regular ones - I may prefer such broth in a thinner version. The meat was remarkably fibrous and delicious, and overall I would give it something like a 15 / 20.

Finally, Ben had a bowl of Do-miso - I tasted a bit and it looked like quite a decent bowl, spicy and with thick, short and good noodles. Wait for his test to know more about it!

More info on ramendb.

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