Monday, January 1, 2018



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!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Ramen Kuni

Today's shop Ramen Kuni replaces shop Bikkuri Gamu Champon in a side street by Daikokucho. Kuni prides itself on Hiroshima kone, a cut of beef specific to the region. It is from a part of the cow's front legs, and is filled with collagen and gelatin, supposedly making it good for your skin. At any rate I was ready to try some so I ordered the standard shoyu.


The Bowl
This was on the lighter side of ramen I've had. It was a simple oil ramen, tasting mostly of bean sprouts and sesame, like a stir fry. The noodles were long and thin, but didn't add any additional flavor. The beef was fine, too, but didn't live up to the expectations I had of a place that was supposed to be famous for it. There was nothing offensive about this bowl, but nothing that lasted in my mind either.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?
You don't need to.


らぁ麺 國

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kitahachi Tantan

The Osaka Ekimae Buildings are always a good place to explore for food, ramen or otherwise. As much as I think I know the scene in Umeda, there are always shops in the basements of these buildings that I haven't heard of. Today I visited Kitahachi Tantan, a tantanmen specialty branch of the Kitano Hachibantei chain. I ordered their standard tantanmen, the Oriental Noodle.


The Bowl
Numbing pepper sansho fumes were coming off the bowl. There was a half-centimeter thick layer of clear oil encasing a hot pepper bowl of soup with cilantro. The short, curly noodles were well matched to the bowl - they picked up a lot of the spice and toppings without being overly oily. Each bite was a continuing descent into that numbing pepper zone where I can't taste anything any more. A bit much, but kind of fun.


Would I Go Again?
It was interesting but I'm not sure I would need to visit again.


Should You Go?
As it turns out it's closed, so that's out of the question.


They gave me some fruit at the end but I could barely taste it.



Sunday, July 16, 2017

Ramen Bakappuru

I don't make it out of Osaka city very often, and there are a lot of shops in the burbs that I haven't visited. I'm always excited, then, when shops decide to move closer to the action. Ramen Bakappuru was technically in the city, but now moved to the convenient location of Awaza, where I was able to visit it easily. They had a chicken paitan, but the owner recommended the unusual bonito ramen, so I went with that.

あまり大阪市を出ませんから、郊外に行ったことがないラーメン屋さんがなかなか多いです。ほんで、店が市内に引っ越ししてくれると嬉しいです。「らーめん ばかっぷる」は旭区から阿波座に来て、すぐ行けるようになりました。鶏白湯が気になりましたけど、オススメしてもらった鰹節らーめんにしました。

The Bowl
I've never had a bowl so deep with the flavors of one kind of fish. The soup was a very peppery bonito syrup, but not overly fishy and eminently drinkable. The thickness of the soup was perfect for the medium, al dente noodles to drink in.

There was no shortage of toppings. Large chunks of fried onion marked their territory by standing out in one corner of the bowl. They got a bit soggy, unfortunately, but still tasted good. The stewed pork, on the other hand, was rich with flavor but mellowed out by the bonito stock. On the side, wasabi, lemon, and shichimi were served, and even more surprisingly, they worked. The wasabi added a tinge of its expected spiciness, triggering memories of sashimi.




Would I Go Again?
I really wish I could. But like many other shops, Bakappuru packed up and moved on.


Should You Go?
I hope you went before this post went up.


らーめん ばかっぷる

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Ramen Kasumi

One of the ever changing shops in Nakazakicho has changed again. First it was shrimp tsukemen shop Typhoon Gang. Then it was jiro-style shop Ginjiro. Now it's the second shop of fantastic Awaza shio Kasumi. A bit of a difference from the light bowls from the first shop, the new branch specializes in thick chicken shio ramen.


The Bowl
This was the polar opposite of the flagship's bowl of shio. Where the the original shio was light and easy to drink, this was a syrupy, pungent bowl of salty chicken gravy. The noodles were medium-with a good chew, but they couldn't help but take in some of the massive amounts of sodium in the soup. The slices of chicken were the best way to take in the broth. They were moist with a bit of sweetness on their own, which ended up meshing well with the gravy. This bowl had some good highs, but was hard to take the full amount.


Would I Go Again?
I'm not sure, I would certainly hit up the original Kasumi before I went back to this one.


Should You Go?
Thick chicken paitan lovers might like this one, but it shouldn't be first on your list.


らーめん 香澄

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Menya Yamahide

Taiwan maze soba shops are everywhere. After showing up in Kitashinchi, Shin Osaka, and Shinsaibashi, they have finally inched even deeper into Minami, showing up right by JR Namba. Yamahide is a chain, and as far as I can tell this is their first Osaka shop. This branch was extremely small, with only five seats and that wonderful feeling like you're always being watched by the manager.


The Bowl
This was a cookie cutter bowl of Taiwan maze soba, which means it was pretty good. The noodles were thick and coated in a nice eggy glaze. Every bite came with a scoop of nori and garlic, with a bit of spice from the chives. It was quite salty, but as per normal, a few doses of vinegar evened things out.


Would I Go Again?
There are so many options I'll have a hard time making it back here.


Should You Go?
I would recommend it if you're looking for a quick bite by JR Namba.


麺屋 やまひで なんば店

Thursday, July 6, 2017


Nakazakicho ramen alert! This little area of town is known for its boutiques and coffee shops, and among ramen otaku like myself, for ramen shops too. The chef at Kikuhan comes from nearby local chain Teru. Like Teru, Kikuhan puts forth a rich bowl, but unlike Teru, this bowl has no fish, just pork and chicken.


The Bowl
Despite being a mix of two meats, the soup here was so smooth and frothy it went down easy. This may have made it harder for the medium, square noodles to grab the broth, but the lighter flavors were more welcome in the toppings. The egg was a delightfully creamy; one of the best I've had in a long time, if not ever. There were some lightly tangy slices of chashu as well, and gingery balls of pork that tasted like skinless gyoza.


Would I Go Again?
Yeah, this was good and in a convenient location.


Should You Go?
Add it to the list of shops worth stopping by in Nakazakicho.


らぁ麺 きくはん