Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Naniwa Ramen Club (Ramen Expo / Osaka-fu)

みつか坊主 X 麬にかけろ X ストライク軒 X JUNK STORY
みつかぼうず X ふすまにかけろ X すとらいくけん X JUNK STORY
Mitsukabozu X Fusuma ni Kakero X Strike Ken X JUNK STORY

Crab ramen: 16 / 20

Before I start writing about this unusual ramen, a short note. Until now, I used to backdate each ramen post (except the very first ones) to the day when I ate the bowl; but as I'm always a couple of months late, this showed a big gap between my last post and the current date, and some people believed that this blog was not active anymore. Therefore, from now on, I'll give to each post the date I published it (and some time after a post is published, I will backdate it to the day when I ate it, so that readers have a fair view of how old my advice is).

Anyway, let's resume. After meeting Brian from Ramen adventures on Monday, I continued my discovery of the English-speaking ramen-blog scene by meeting Ben from Friends in ramen. What better place to gather two ramen fan than the ramen expo in Osaka at Bampaku Kinen Koen?

I was firmly decided to try some exotic ramen that was not from Osaka-fu, but Ben informed me about a collaborative ramen from four of the most awesome ramen shops of the province: Mitsukabose, Fusuma ni Kakero, Strike Ken and JUNK STORY. Wow, I had to try this! So what do you get when you mix a restaurant specialized in miso broth, another one known for its subtle shrimp-flavored broth, a third one for its new-wave clam-ramen, and the last one for its chicken tataki? You get a crab ramen. Yes, it makes no sense, but whatever.

Broth: A shoyu broth - I could not taste the crab in it, but it had a very distinctive, and quite pleasant, seafood taste.

Noodles: They were relatively straight, slightly larger than usually, yellow and quite soft - the perfect incarnation, as I see it, of Kyoto-style ramen noodles. Let’s say it straight: this is not the kind of noodles I usually love. However, as it happened, they soaked very well the juice, which was a brilliant idea in the context of the ramen expo: we didn’t have any spoon to eat, only chopsticks, so it was great to be able to eat noodles AND soup at the same time. I don’t know if they wered designed on that purpose, but it worked very well anyway.

Meat: What a profusion of meat! The effect of collaboration ramen, as it seems. There were some thin slices of chashu, not so good-looking but pleasantly enhanced by melting fat (some of them too fat for me though); some lean, but quite tasty bits of pork meat, just covered by a thin but good fat layer; and also some small hard bits of lean meat in the broth. Not bad, but the bowl definitely didn't need all that meat.

Toppings: Some negi, that’s it.

Was it really necessary to gather four of the best ramen shops in Osaka to do this? Each of them separately could actually prepare something at least as good - but anyway, it was a high quality ramen. If you missed it, don’t worry, you can safely go to each of these shops and eat a ramen of the same standard - or even better.

Now, my ramen experience at Bampaku Kinen Koen was not over... (stay tuned!)

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