Saturday, May 9, 2015

Ganko (Osaka-shi, Chuo-ku)

宗家一条流がんこラーメン 十八代目
そうけいちじょうりゅうがんこらーめん じゅうはちだいめ
Soukeichijouryou Ganko Ramen Jouhachidaime

Negi shoyu ramen: 14 / 20
(正油ラーメン, ネギ油)

Ebi shio ramen: 15 / 20
(塩ラーメン, エビ油 +味玉)

Speak about a myth: a small-scale chain of ramen restaurants with branches in Tokyo and Osaka, whose shops are recognizable by a bone suspended in front of the porch, and which can close unexpectedly for the day if the ‘soup is not excellent’ - difficult to make more mysterious! I had been looking for this shop quite a few times but for some reason I always missed it, and thought it had been replaced by the large and flashy Kyo ramen shop next door. But no, it was still there, well recognizable by its bone and "shio" kanji (塩).

I went there with my mother, who loves shio ramen and therefore had to try this one before leaving Japan. We arrived at the opening time at 11:30 on a Saturday, and the shop filled quickly, although there were not many people coming until 12:10. You can order a shio or shoyu ramen, each with onion (negi) oil or shrimp (ebi) oil . My mother ordered the shio ebi with ajitama, and I ordered the shoyu negi to compare (they also have a sesame ramen that I would be curious to try some day).

Ganko endorses three cardinal rules (thanks for the info, Ramenate):
1. The Noodles Must Be Firm!
2. The Soup Must Be Strong and Salty!
3. The Soup Must Be Hot!
Do they abide by them? As I was about to discover, indeed, they do.

Broth: A good shoyu broth with some small burned onions, a little bit too salty but high quality.

Noodles: Some thin, firm, yellow curly noodles – very good.

Meat: Three large slices of a relatively compact meat, with some good fat – but too compact, and really overabundant, one slice would have been enough.

Toppings: Some crunchy cabbage that was quite welcome. Some thin and very crunchy (some of them too much to my taste) menma with an interesting, peppery taste. You can also help yourself with white or black pepper (very much recommended!), vinegar and laiu (I’m less convinced by those two, although they definitely give a special twist), or minced green chilies.

The shio ebi differed only in the broth (more specifically, only in the tare). The shrimp taste is subtle and not overpowering – if you like shrimp, you have to try one of the ebi-flavored ramen. The ajitama was cut in two halves – the yellow was gooey (on the hard side), but the white part didn’t really have any taste and was too soft.

When we were there, there was only one cook handling the whole shop – seeing him flying between the bowls, the dish warmer and the fridge with a maestro precision was a show in itself.

So overall, this is a good ramen, very well crafted – and especially recommendable if you want some shrimp experience (would be interesting to try this bowl just next to IKR51's). I wouldn’t recommend ordering the ajitama though.

More info on ramendb.

Other reviews: Ramen Adventures, Ramenate, Ramenate 2 (all in Tokyo)

No comments:

Post a Comment