Monday, June 29, 2015

Kadoya (Osaka-shi, Nishi-ku)

Kadoya Shokudou

Niboshi ramen : 14 / 20

Nishinagahori is not exactly the kind of place where you would dream to spend your week-end. But I was there on a mission, namely finally try this Kadoya restaurant, a real fame in Osaka's ramen world. It offers an interesting variety of dishes: chuka soba, shio ramen (both with or without wanton), a tsukesoba, and a niboshi ramen. Of course, I chose the latest!

Broth: Hmm, the strong niboshi flavor, I will never get tired of it. Roasted, pungent, slightly bitter, this broth has everything an authentic niboshi broth should have. However, there were quite a few small morcels of fat floating in the broth, which really became overpowering towards the end.

Noodles: A lof of starchy and (too) soft noodles: disappointing.

Meat: A slice of chashu with an alternance of lean meat and firm fat (too firm, and too much of it). Better to order your bowl without this, IMHO.

Toppings: Some green negi, and a small sheet of nori – both fit quite well with the niboshi flavor, but the nori became too quickly soaked.

So, should you go to Kadoya? This was good overall, but in my opinion, this restaurant is clearly overrated. I was lucky enough to have only five people ahead of me when I arrived there on a Sunday at 14:00, but as I went out at 14:30, there were about twelve people queueing! Ibuki's bowl the day before (a shop without any queue whatsoever, BTW) was much more balanced – although Kadoya's broth had slightly stronger niboshi notes which may be more to my taste. Maybe their other dishes are better, but it looks like Ben also thought that their shoyu broth was a bit overestimated. You can go there, but it’s not unmissable. And as a note, Anomichi and Taku in the area are quite well praised also.

More info on ramendb.

Other reviews: Friends in Ramen, Battera

Friday, June 26, 2015

Ibuki (Osaka-shi, Kita-ku)

中華そば いぶき
ちゅうかそば いぶき
Chuuka Soba Ibuki

Kuro Iriko soba: 16 / 20

I continued my Ra-Sai with the closest ramen to my place, Ibuki. They serve different bowls, including a tsukesoba, but their specialty in an ‘iriko ramen’. I had no idea what iriko was, but went with the recommendation, as I often do.

Broth: An intense shoyu broth, with the perfect amount of fat, not too salty, some herbal taste, as well as a pungency that rang a bell… niboshi, of course! ‘Iriko’ is just the name given to niboshi in Western Japan - and it is here used in the soup (rather than in the tare, as it seems to be the case usually). The taste was not overwhelming, though. A very well balanced broth.

Noodles: Squared-section noodles with a good balance between softness vs. elasticity.

Meat: A couple of small slice of a very bipolar chashu: a very lean part surrounded by a fatty edge. I generally prefer when the fat infuses the lean, and this fat could have been more melting. I don’t think that this meat was really interesting and worth putting in the bowl.

Egg: Half of a very well cooked egg, with a tasty white part and gooey yolk.

Toppings: Some wakame as well as subtly sesame-flavored menma, both quite crunchy.

This was a very harmonious bowl, all ingredients were carefully crafted and balanced, except the meat: with a better meat – or no meat at all – it could have deserved a 17 / 20. If you go to this area, make sure to visit some of the cool cafes of nearby Nakazakicho (like Café Minto, from where I am writing right now), or one of the pleasant restaurants of Temma.

More info on ramendb.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Motor Boo (Osaka-shi, Kita-ku)

Motor Boo

Tsukemen (with raw egg): 18 / 20

(Note: I'm slightly changing the layout of the blog in order to increase the size of pictures; that may change a bit again during the next few days while I'm fine tuning this. Let me know in case of problems etc.)

After 7.5Hz+ and Monjiro, I decided to continue the exploration of the ramen-rich Kitashinchi area. Difficult not to notice the odd name of "MOTOR BOO" standing out amidst all Japanese-named places (by the way, a small piece of advice: if you want to get extra attention for your place, just write it in capital letters; cheap but efficient). I was about to discover that its name is quite fitting: it is probably one of the most unusual tsukemen place ever.

Following the signs, I arrived on the second floor in a fancy small bar. I was surely wrong – but no, the waiter asked me if I was looking for tsukemen! If you’ve ever wanted to enjoy a Yamazaki whisky with your bowl, that’s the place.

Simple to choose your food: they only offer tsukemen, that you can order with a raw egg on the side – as I did. The friendly, dressed-up waiter started to prepare my bowl.

Broth: A delicious sweet and sour gyokai tonkotsu, that transferred the perfect amount of taste to the noodles. You can dip your noodles in the egg after dipping them in the broth – don’t let them too long, or the egg will dilute the taste of broth, but with a quick dip this was a simple, perfect combination!

Noodles: Perfectly firm – they could have a little bit more taste, but nothing really to complain about. I barely dared slurping in such a fancy atmosphere!

Meat: A fair amount of meat, with both tasty lean and melting fat, and the perfect crumbliness. A model.

Toppings: A few very large and thin slabs of menma on top of the noodles, relatively sweet, neither soft nor firm, but very good. You also get a few squares of white negi in the broth that bring some sharp crunchiness, a few brins of rucola, and some black pepper to sprinkle on the broth. A lot of small twists that made this bowl a real culinary roller coaster!

Soup wari: A very round and harmonious soup wari – and totally huge! I could barely drink half of it, but it was a perfect ending to this bowl.

What an unexpected surprise! This place reminded me Sugari in many respects – an excellent tsukemen in an unusual atmosphere – although both bowls are pretty different. This bar is clearly Osaka's ultimate ramen dating place, and – taking into consideration not only the quality of the bowl, but also its atmosphere – ranks among the most exceptional ramen place in Japan. The question is not whether you should go there, but when – and, most importantly, with whom.

More info on ramendb.

Other review: Friends in Ramen

Sunday, June 21, 2015

JET600 (Osaka-shi, Higashinari-ku)

ラーメン人生 JET600
らーめんじんせい じぇっとろっぴゃく
Ramen Jinsei Jetto Roppiaku

Torigara tsukemen: 16 / 20

Shoyu ramen: 16 / 20

JET 600 is a spin-off of nothing less than one of the two most highly ranked Osaka ramen restaurant on ramendb, JET (which is running neck-and-neck with Yashichi). It looks like their menu slightly differ though, as there is no shio ramen here, but a shoyu ramen and a chicken-based tsukemen. My friend ordered the former, and I ordered the latter – let’s start with reviewing mine.

Broth: A good-if-not-exceptional chicken broth, less thick than what I thought at first – a thicker brother could have transferred more taste to the noodles.

Noodles: Flatly-shaped noodles, very beautifully presented in a bowl. They have a very interesting slimey and elastic texture, and looks like partly whole-grain (half-grain?). Really great noodles, I must say - and once dipped in the broth, they become perfectly slippery.

Meat: Two large slices of pleasant meat, salty and juicy. Good, but way too much - and some parts were too fat.

Toppings: A few thin slabs of crunchy, very mild menma.

Soup wari: The soup wari was more earthy than the broth, and excellent.

This was a very good tsukemen, but I think that as far as tsukemen is concerned, tonkotsu usually fits better than torigara (chiken bones) – it was a bit too light in taste for me, like at Kogaryu Seimen in Hyogo (there is one exception to this rule, though, namely the divine Fuunji...) Anyway, the alchemy between the noodles and the broth was fantastic for sure (last time I had this was at Zyurumen Ikeda in Tokyo), so if you want to eat some chicken-based tsukemen, do not hesitate, run there. Oh and don’t worry, it looks like the bowl of noodles is huge, but there is a zaru under the noodles, so there are not as much of them as what you might think at first.

The shoyu broth of my friend had a distinctive and excellent taste of niboshi (but is apparently also made from saba and samma), enhanced by the use of mitsuba, which gave some herbal notes; but the noodles were a bit soft for my taste. The meat seemed harder than the one I had, and somehow slightly sweeter. The menma were identical.

Overall, a very good place, but it would certainly not enter my Osaka's top 5 list. Is their mother shop better? As I would discover later, it isn't (review is coming).

More info on ramendb.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Monjiro (Osaka-shi, Kita-ku)

つけ麺 紋次郎 (大阪駅前第二ビル店)
つけめん もんじろう
Tsukemen Monjirou

Tsukemen: 13 / 20

I continued my exploration of the undergrounds between Nishi Umeda and Kitashinchi. After 7.5Hz+ two weeks ago, another restaurant seemed worthwhile of attention: Monjiro. Lost in the underground maze, it is a bit difficult to localize even with a smartphone (look at the printed maps!), but finally, here I am. I ordered the special, their gyokai tonkotsu tsukemen - has been a while I haven't had any.

Broth: A quite fat gyokai tonkotsu broth, pleasant for sure, but that did not give so much taste to the noodles. You get some fish powder on top of a small bit of nori sheet: I recommend to mix it right away to the soup as it is otherwise a bit mild. You also have on the side some yuzu powder and shoyu/vinegar mix that you can use to spike a little bit your bowl. It makes it better indeed, but does not turn it into something exceptional either.

Noodles: Thick, firm and curly – in a kind of hard-to-slurp way. The taste was a bit bland, though.

Meat: A few bits of a very unremarkable chashu. I would have preferred my bowl without that.

Toppings: Different kinds of menma: some thin and crunchy, and some large and soft – but all mild in taste.

Soup wari: You get a yakiishi (hot stone) to heat your broth, as in TETSU. The soup wari wasn’t bad, but nothing to write home either – for once, it wasn’t on the gyokai side. Adding the yuzu powder made it kind of better, again.

I would recommend this bowl only to the gyokai tonkotsu addicts. Otherwise, places like Suzume, Teru, Mita Seimenjo or Roku San Roku are better in my memory – and wait for my reviews of the excellent Küche and Motor Boo! (and BTW, the latter is not far from Monjiro)

More info on ramendb.

Other (more enthusiastic) review: Friends in Ramen

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Taku (Osaka-shi, Naniwa-ku)

Menya Taku (Ebisu ten)

Niboshi ramen: 15 / 20

I had to keep my rhythm of one ramen of the Osaka Ra-Sai per week, and I was going to the atmospheric area of Shinsekai with a friend on this sunny Sunday, so this was a good occasion to visit Taku at Ebisucho beforehand. Taku specializes in heavy broths, but for the sake of my health, I chose a lighter one - especially since they had a niboshi I was of course curious to try.

Broth: The soy taste was light, but the niboshi notes were definitely present. Very pleasant!

Noodles: Well cooked, in a katame way.

Meat: An average chashu, with firm fat - too much of it, actually.

Toppings: Some thin, crunchy menma with a classical taste.

A no-thrill but really good niboshi broth. If you’re not that much into niboshi, you can skip this one though - but remember that they have many different dishes, including a special, intriguing “ore no shio”.

More info on ramendb.

Other reviews: Friends in ramen 1 and Friends in ramen 2 (both for the chicken-gyokai ramen), Friends in ramen 3 (for the tsukemen) (yep, Ben loves Taku!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Daimyo (Osaka-fu, Minoh-shi)

Daimyou Ramen (Honten)

Yuzu ramen: 14 / 20

Here I am again, going to eat a ramen along the road 171 north of Osaka University's Suita campus. This time, we went to Daimyo, another tonkotsu shop. Minoh specializes in yuzu product – even their mascot is a yuzu character! – and fittingly, this shop offers a special yuzu ramen. I never had such a thing, so obviously, I had to try it.

Broth: Yuzu it tastes indeed! One cannot really feel any other taste in the soup, even the pork flavor is kind of masked – although the soup had obviously the typical tonkotsu creamy structure. A kind of silky yuzu juice. It is described as "sappari" – which means "refreshing in a light way" – but it was overall similar in texture to many assari tonkotsu ramen you would eat out there. Also, it is supposed to be made with olive oil, but I could not taste any hint of it.

Noodles: Katame, as I ordered.

Meat: Three small slices of a good chashu, very melting, really the kind I like, although it could have a slightly more pronounced taste.

Toppings: Some refreshing bean sprouts, and some green negi (which, IMHO, did not fit that well with the broth).

Overall, a no-thrill but good ramen, very original for its yuzu taste. I must say I prefer small bits of yuzu zest in a ramen – it makes the soup higher in contrasts, expectations and delightful surprises, never knowing when taking a sip whether you will bite on one of those bits or not. Anyway, this restaurant might be your best choice in the area with Ippudo, significantly better than average neighboring shops like Kappa, Kieiken or Genkotsu.

More info on ramendb.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Hoi (Osaka-fu, Toyonaka-shi)

麺屋 ほぃ
めんや ほぃ
Menya Hoi

Shoyu tori paitan: 17 / 20

Shio tori paitan: 16 / 20

On this Tuesday evening, I met Ben to continue our Ra-Sai. This led us this time to Toyonaka at Hotarugaike station, an area I know well for having lived nearby during one year, and famous in the ramen world for the miso-ramen star Mitsukabozu. I had never noticed Hoi before though, and the ramen festival was the perfect occasion to fix this mistake. Hoi specialize in a tori paitan that they prepare in a shoyu version (that Ben ordered), and a shio one (that I took). Let’s compare.

Broth: My broth was very good, but Ben’s one was just excellent, as it had some additional fishy (niboshi and katsuo) essence in the tare – I did not recognize the niboshi, but it gave a delicious smokey twist.

Noodles: Thin and not too hard, this enhanced the general Kyoto-ramen feel of the bowl (although they were not as soft as Kyoto noodles).

Meat: OK, here those bowls go way over the top, with three meaty toppings. First, a delicious slice of peppery, smoked duck (with a thick layer of fat, in a French "magret" style). Second, a meatball with very pleasant gingery notes. Third, a nearly raw slice of chicken breast. I must say that I was less convinced by the last one (and it’s not because it was half raw - I loved chicken tataki at Junk Story, for example), although it was an interesting experience.

Toppings: My bowl had some smoked saba with aosa nori - was it a dream or did it somehow taste like parmesan? You also get some mizuna leaves for a fresh twist, and some pleasant notes of crunchy white onion. Finally, there are some very small hanakatsuobushi on the noodles, barely seeable.

In conclusion, an excellent ramen - but I recommend ordering the shoyu version.

More info on ramendb.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Fusuma ni Kakero (Osaka-shi, Kita-ku)

麬にかけろ 中崎壱丁 中崎商店會
ふすまにかけろ なかざきいっちょう なかざきしょうてんがい
Fusuma ni Kakero Nakazaki Ichou Nakazaki Shoutengai

Italian (gentei) ramen: 14 / 20 

After our ramen at Bird, we went with Brian to Nakazakicho so that I could show him my favorite places like Minto and Amanto. Brian was in the mood for some further ramen experience though, so after a drink there I decided to bring him to one of Osaka top ramen joint, Fusuma ni Kakero - my third time there in two and half months! Fortunately though, they had a February Gentei (limited edition), so I could try something new: an Italian-inspired ramen!

Soup: It had a definite Western taste of consommé, but was a bit too fat.

Noodles: Spaghetti-like noodles, very easy to slurp.

Meat: The real asset of this bowl: some delicious, herbal chicken.

Toppings: This bowl goes crazy here: salad leaves, crunchy fried onions, spongious but tasty mushrooms, tomato bits and – sic – mozarella! (I'm not convinced by the cheese part though)

Overall, it looked like some italian spaghetti changed into ramen. I’m not fully convinced though and think this should remain an experiment; not a bad one, but their regular shio and shoyu are better - and I don't even mention their special Monday's SCS ebi-tori paitan!

More info on ramendb.

Other review: Friends in Ramen (for the shoyu ramen), Japan Times, Philoramen 1 (for the SCS ramen), Philoramen 2 (for the shio and shoyu ramen)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

bird (Osaka-shi, Kita-ku)


Assari ramen: 15 / 20

Kotteri ramen: 16 / 20

Brian from Ramen Adventures was around in Osaka this week-end, so we decided to go for some ramen together. He suggested to go to bird, a curious shop close to Higashi-Umeda that I instantly became eager to try, as they use a very special ingredient: cotton candy! Clearly, we had to try this oddity. I ordered the assari ramen, and Brian the kotteri ramen. While they were getting ready, we could discover this ovni ramen-kitchen: a cotton candy machine; some fish drying on clothespins; the soup taken out of the freezer to be cut into large pieces before being heated. Clearly, this restaurant does nothing like others! But here come our UFO-designed bowls, which we frantically shot with our cameras, as the cotton candy was melting at high speed!

Both: This smooth shoyu broth was the assari one, but it was quite thick for an assari – the chicken broth provided some significant texture. At the place where the cotton candy had melted, the broth got a significant sweetness (which Brian accidentally stole away from me – warned you, man!). Good, but nothing exceptional. Brian’s broth was thicker and more peppery – I preferred it actually.

Noodles: You know, when noodles have this very strong egg taste? Well here they were quite the opposite, as if something had been removed to them, but I’m not sure what. They were quite thick and firm, though.

Meat: Some crumbly chashu, a bit like lard, with some melting fat intersped – the kind of chashu I love!

Egg: A very liquid, kind of cold ontama, that IMHO did not bring anything to the bowl. I don’t recommend ordering it.

Difficult to rate this bowl: average noodles, great meat, pleasant broth, insignificant egg and extreme originality of the cotton candy. It’s definitely worth going there if you like discovering ramen curiosities – but I recommend ordering the thick version, without egg. The tsukemen also looked like coming from another world, could be interesting to try it some day.

More info on ramendb.

Other reviews: Ramen Adventures, Friends in Ramen

Sodaisho (Osaka-shi, Kita-ku)


Koikuchi shoyu ramen: 16  / 20

Kurodaisho: 15 / 20

It had been some time already that I wanted to eat at this very popular ramen joint, but the queue always convinced me to go somewhere else. On this Saturday at 1 pm, though, it was short enough so that I could give it a try. They specialize in a shoyu ramen that they prepare in two versions, as well as a shio ramen, and both a shio and shoyu tsukemen. I was with a friend so it was a perfect occasion to compare the two versions of the shoyu bowl: my friend ordered the Kurodaisho (the signature bowl), and I ordered the Koikuchi (more concentrated in taste). Let's start with the latter.


Broth: A deep shoyu taste (although not as deep as in the recent Takaida-kei I tried), just deep enough for what I like – there was also some hints of yuzu which you can, as I discovered later, order in a larger quantity.

Noodles: Slightly fat, firm and good.

Meat: Two large, very thin slices of chashu with some alternance of fat and lean parts. OK, but nothing to call home about.

Toppings: Some small, very thin, crunchy menma with an intense taste – they were good, especially when eaten mixed with the noodles, providing a crunchy and tasty twist to the whole thing. A slice of kamaboko.

The Kurodaisho of my friend was good too, but with a thinner taste, less fishy, and without the hint of yuzu – I slightly preferred mine. Overall, that’s a good place for a classical shoyu experience, although the long queue made me expect something slightly more exceptional.

More info on ramendb.

Other reviews: Friends in Ramen, Osaka Insider.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Junk Story (Osaka-shi, Chuo-ku)

らーめんstyle Junk Story
らーめんすたいる じゃんくすとーりー
Ramen Style Junk Story

Shio no Kirameki: 17 / 20

Junk story! What a poetic name... I remember the first time I went there, more than a year ago, I was expecting something ultra-fat and unhealthy – probably because of the similarity of the name with JUNK GARAGE in Saitama. Hell no! They serve a very sophisticated, light shio broth, which I enjoyed vey much at the time. The Ra-Sai was a perfect occasion to refresh my memory of their special dish, the Kirameki shio ramen (which I ordered with the noodles in regular, nami size – you can also ask for free for a bigger, chuu version).

Broth: A pleasant shio broth with a hint of yuzu, and some herbal notes – although less on the parsley side than e.g. Menya Hyottoko in Tokyo. I appreciate that it was not over-salty.

Noodles: Classical, straight noodles, neither too hard nor too soft. Could be more remarkable, but they do the job.

Meat: That’s the highlight of the bowl, no doubt about it: a few tender slices of chicken tataki with a citrus taste, just great.

Egg: Half of a perfectly cooked egg, with a gooey yellow on the hard side, and a white part well infused with shoyu taste.

Toppings: Some white negi, mitsuba and chili stripes. Some good, slightly fibrous, squared menma – first time I see this shape! – with a classical taste.

A great shio, no doubt about it, the best I’ve tried in Osaka with Shiogensui. The broth may be more interesting in Shiogensui, especially in its plum version, but the chicken tataki here deserves extra credit. A bowl not to be missed, in case you enjoy clear broth ramen.

More info on ramendb.

Other review: Friends in Ramen

Monday, June 8, 2015

7.5Hz+ (Osaka-shi, Kita-ku)

麺屋7.5Hz+ (梅田店)
Menya Nana Ten Go Herutsu Purasu (Umeda-ten)

Chuka soba, small: 15 / 20 

7.5Hz has been on my radar ever since Ben from Friends in Ramen told me about the Takaida-kei style, of which this shop (along with other ramen-monuments like Kinguemon or Dogyan) is a representative. Finally, I made it to the undergrounds of Kitashinchi to try it. The area is not that great but well, that’s one of the many nondescript undergrounds place that Osaka has to offer – at least it’s warmer than outside in winter. I was happy to see that you could order the ramen in a small version, like at Dogyan - but note that you can also order some dark shoyu tsukesoba with giant noodles.

Broth: A strong, very dark shoyu broth – that’s Takaida-kei, no doubt about it! It had a more fishy taste than at Dogyan, Maru Joe or Kinguemon though, so this was an interesting change. But too salty to my taste, unfortunately.

Noodles: Thick, yellow noodles with the right chewiness. Like at Dogyan, they were kind of hard to slurp.

Meat: A slice of slightly unremarkable chashu, not unpleasant though, with some large, smooth fatty part.

Toppings: Some large green negi that, as usual in Takaida-kei, fit very well with the broth – they had a kind of metallic taste. Some menma with a (too?) strong classical menma taste.

Overall, a good Takaida-bowl – I preferred it to Dogyan (the broth was not as fat, and the chashu slightly – but only slightly – better). To bad it was too salty though.

More info on ramendb.

Other review: Ramen Adventures

Friday, June 5, 2015

Misawa (Osaka-shi, Fukushima-ku)

つけ麺 みさわ(本店)
つけめん みさわ
Tsukemen Misawa (Honten)

Niboshi tsukemen: 16 / 20

After Mitsuboshi, I decided to continue my exploration of the Fukushima area. JET always had a terribly long queue, so Misawa was next on my list: a niboshi tsukemen, I had to try this!

Broth: A peppery broth with some niboshi taste, crowned by some even more peppery fish powder. There is some ginger on top of the noodles bowl, but be careful when using it, as it can easily overwhelm the taste of niboshi. The soup wari was not so special, but you can get a beautiful, triangular yakiishi (hot stone) to heat your bowl.

Noodles: OK, but not so firm.

Meat: One small slice of good, braised chashu, with melting fat.

Toppings: Some thick, fibrous, OK menma, soft behind the crunchiness. Some raw, very crunchy bits of white onions on the side that went quite well with the soup. You can put some shichimi (mix of seven spices) that seemed to include japanese pepper/sanshou - quite pleasant.

Although nothing was in itself exceptional, the peppery powder, crunchy onions, ginger and shichimi all brought interesting and various twists, and changed this bowl into a symphony of flavors. Definitely recommended.

More info on ramendb.

Other reviews: Friends in Ramen 1, Friends in Ramen 2 (another shop)

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Mitsuboshi (Osaka-shi, Fukushima-ku)

みつ星製麺所 (福島本店)
Mitsuboshi Seimensho (Fukushima Honten)

Wafu ramen: 17 / 20

Fukushima is a remarkably rich area in terms of ramen, and this restaurant is – its name does not lie – one of its stars. I arrived there at 12:30 on a Saturday without much hope to find a seat, knowing that there are many ramen shops in the area anyway, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was only a 15 minutes-long queue; that’s very doable, so here I wait. I ordered the wafu ramen, the thin one (but they are especially famous for their kotteri ramen).

Broth: A thin and cloudy tonkotsu-niboshi broth, with some bits of fat in suspension. The taste of niboshi was present and pleasant, but not as pronounced as e.g. in Mugen where I went last week. You get some yuzukoshio on the side that you can mix in your broth to your liking; despite my love of yuzukoshio, I would not recommend putting all of it, as it would (it did!) overpower the subtle niboshi taste - finding the right balance is relatively difficult.

Meat: An excellent crumbly chashu, with just the right amount of fat.

Egg: Half of a perfectly cooked egg with gooey yellow, on the hard side, infused with a variety of delicious flavors.

Toppings: Lots of negi of all kinds, that were not too strong and fitted quite well with the broth. A slice of kamaboko (are actually some kamaboko better than others?). A small slice of nori that was (too) quickly soaked.

Despite the slightly too mild broth, this ramen is simply excellent, and not far from the perfect equilibrium. Very much recommended.

More info on ramendb.

Other review: Friends in ramen (for the noko ramen)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hakuju (Osaka-shi, Higashiyodogawa-ku)


Ganso Kalubi Ramen, white: 16 / 20

Saying that this restaurant is localized in a nondescript place would be an understatement. Seriously, who goes to Kami-shinjo - and walks ten minutes from there to go eat some ramen? Well, it looks like some people do, was I thinking on my way towards this well-kept secret of the Northern suburbs. This restaurant has a very special ramen menu, with hormon- or kalbi-ramen, in either red of white version. I was very happy to see that you can order a smaller version for 500 yens, which I did (better to eat less ramen and more fruits tonight), in the white kalbi version. The dish arrived sizzling in a pot, with some spice-bay-mix on the side – original!

Broth: A pleasant, sweetish, light tonkotsu, not too fat - the spice mix fitted very well with it.

Meat: Delicious melting, fatty calbi!

Toppings: Some greens and Western-style onions.

What a beautiful harmony! The alliance of the sweet, milkish broth with the unctuous meat and soft onions worked wonderfully. If you are for some reason travelling on the Hankyu Kita-senri line, this is definitely worth a stop.

More info on ramendb.