Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Osaka Ramen Route

When I first came to Osaka, there was little to no information about ramen in Osaka in English. I started this blog to fix that, by documenting my own experiences eating in Kansai. Now it's time for the next step.

Presenting Osaka Ramen Route!
Osaka Ramen Route is a ramen stamp rally: a simple event where you get a bowl of ramen at five different shops, collect stamps, and earn a certificate proving your ramen mastery. It's running from now through July, so check out the site, eat some ramen, and post about it with #ramenroute!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019



tl;dr: Here's a list of great Osaka ramen

Welcome to Friends in Ramen, the mad ramblings and reviews of a ramen-obsessed New Yorker who has somehow found himself in Osaka.  I've created this blog for foreigners in Osaka who want to eat good ramen, English speakers abroad who want to eat vicariously in the great east, or anyone else who wants to stop by.

I've tried to keep my ramen shop reviews in a consistent format; there's locational information along with a photo of the outside of the shop, and tags describing the style and location.  If you're looking for something particular, give it a search, or otherwise browse with pleasure!

If you're still reading this and haven't scrolled down to the wonderful pictures of rich salty broth below, here are some good places to get started on the blog:

Best Ramen in Osaka - A list of my favorite shops in Osaka, sorted by type and location
The ramen map - a (near) exhaustive list of the ramen shops I've eaten at in Japan
The Beginning - My first post, and my entrance into Osaka
Who Writes This Thing, Anyway? - More of me talking about myself!
Ramen Glossary - A list of terms that are often used in my posts, in case ramen is new to you

Enjoy Friends in Ramen!

ラーメンの中毒があるなんとなく大阪にいちゃったニューヨーカーが書いている「Friends in Ramen」というブログにようこそ!元々外国人のためにブログを作りましたけど、日本人もラーメンが好きな外国人の意見に興味あるかなと思っていたので、日本語も書くようにしています。日本語はけっこうむずいので、ミスとかあればすみません。いろいろな店で食べたことあるので、もし「こんなスープを飲みたいな」と考えたら、タグとかで検索してください。あとは、適当に楽しんでください!


大阪のベストラーメン:大阪の一番好きなラーメン屋さん。場所と味でソートしています ラーメン地図:今までに全国の食べたことあるラーメン屋さん
The Beginning:大阪のデビュー

Friends in Ramenを楽しみましょう!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


Monjiro is one of the first shops I ever visited after starting this blog. While I've discovered so much ramen since then, when I heard there was a branch opening in Shinsaibashi, I knew I had to check it out. I went for the spicy tsukemen, as always.


The Bowl
And the only thing I was surprised about was how closely resembled the bowl I had had years earlier. The soup was a bit on thin side, with a light seafood flavor and slow-building spice. The thick, rope-like noodles were a pleasure, and the soup hid some flavorful chunks of chashu.


Would I Go Again?
As before, this is a solid bowl, but there's a lot to compete with in Shinsaibashi.


Should You Go?
You can't go wrong with Monjiro, but there is some tough competition in the tsukemen space.


つけ麺 紋次郎

Sunday, November 4, 2018


A while back I visited Bokkoshi when it opened in Namba, a delicious almost pasta-like chicken shop. The original shop it's based on, though, is Bakkoshi, a tonkotsu shop in Juso.


The Bowl
The first experience I had in tasting the bowl was the milkiness of the white broth, along with the thin oil coating it. The flavoring itself was standard tonkotsu, and inside were Hakata-style thin, al dente noodles. The chashu was salty and strong; good in small quantity but I would have had trouble with any more. Overall this was a creamy take on run-of-the-mill tonkotsu.


Would I Go Again?
It wasn't bad, but I'm not about to make a trip to Juso for it.


Should You Go?
I would aim for Bokkoshi or newer shop Bukkoshi before trekking out to Bakkoshi.


Bukkoshi, Bakkoshi, Bokkoshi


Monday, October 15, 2018

Saishoku Ramen Kinsei Mufu

This time I made a trip to Takatsuki, to visit out-of-the-way shop Saishoku Ramen Kinsei Mufu. Brian from Ramen Adventures happened to be in town, so we made the trip together. I ordered the standard shio ramen, while Brian ordered the special version with smoked chicken.

今回離れている高槻なる「彩色ラーメンきんせい夢風」という店に行ってきました。Ramen Adventuresのブライアンさんがたまたま大阪にいたので、一緒に行きました。私は定番の塩ラーメンにして、ブライアンが燻製鶏が入っているラーメンにしました。

The Bowl
This was a light and solid shio; not too salty, and easy to drink along with the slurpable, flat noodles. It stood side-by-side with other branches of Kinsei I've visited, and other high quality shio ramen, but the regular shio ramen didn't stand out beyond that. The smoked chicken, on the other hand, was great. The meat itself had a perfect amount of smokey aroma, and when it was mixed in, it took the soup to another level.


Would I Go Again?
It's pretty far, so I don't see myself making the trek.


Should You Go?
I would recommend it for people who live in the area, but it's a far trek to get some good shio ramen.


彩色ラーメン きんせい夢風

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Mensho Shinoyama Ramen

There's a shop in Ame-Mura that has changed hands many time. It was most recently Takumi Ichiban Ramen, but since then for some time it has remained as Mensho Shinoyama Ramen. I finally made my visit, and ordered the shoyu Shinoyama Ramen.

アメ村にあるよく変わる店があります。一番最近「匠一番らーめん」でしたけど、今しばらく「麺匠 篠山らーめん」です。最近行ってみて、醤油の篠山らーめんにしました。

The Bowl
At first the broth was a sweet, feathery-light shoyu. The bowl came with a dollop of yuzu miso, though, which transformed the bowl into a richer yuzu experience. The noodles themselves were slightly too thick for the shoyu, and were much better with the yuzu mixed in. The chashu was nothing special, but the sweet bamboo shoots were an interesting change of pace from the normal menma.


Would I Go Again?
This was solid, but I wasn't blown away. Maybe I'll end up here some late night.


Should You Go?
The best thing about Shinoyama is the convenience: it's a nice stop for anyone who wants to grab a quick bite in Ame-Mura.


麺匠 篠山らーめん

Monday, September 24, 2018

Al Paci Ramen

Well before I moved to Osaka I had heard a rumor about a strange ramen shop. This shop was supposed to be an Al Pacino themed shop. I know, it makes no sense, but I found it. Following my heart and going with the spicy choice, I ordered the aka Paci ramen at Aru Paci Ramen.


Kind of...creepy

The Bowl
I wasn't expecting much of this ramen, and what I got met my expectations. The broth was oily and tasted like liquid shichimi, which is not too bad all things considered. The noodles were medium and curly, and the chashu was pretty standard. There was some motsu in my bowl that was a fun, unusual touch.


Would I Go Again?
I'm glad I went, but I don't think I need to make a second trip.


Should You Go?
I guess if you like Al Pacino?