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!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Tsukemen TETSU

Every once in a while a bowl from Tokyo makes it down to Kansai. In the Hankyu Sanbangai food court, a tsukemen chain from Tokyo opened up: Tsukemen TETSU. I couldn't make it on the opening day, but just the day after I showed up to try their tsukemen.


The Bowl
This was some Tokyo style gyokai tonkotsu tsukemen, through and through. There are plenty of good bowls in Osaka but sometimes it's good to try one more heavily influenced from the birthplace. TETSU's broth was rich and fishy; not quite as thick nor as sweet as other similar bowls. The fat noodles sparkled in the underground mall's light. A thick piece of chashu bobbed up and down in the soup, but overall its taste was overtaken by the broth.


Would I Go Again?
TETSU was solid, but with so many other tsukemen options around, I don't see myself making another trip.


Should You Go?
This is a good option if you're feeling tsukemen while browsing the Umeda food court.



Sunday, February 18, 2018

Chuka Soba Takayasu

Continuing on my first trip to Ichijoji, I finished my hike and was ready for dinner, i.e. round two. My second shop was Ichijoji staple Takayasu. Takayasu is known for their tonkotsu ramen but perhaps even more than that for their gigantic pieces of karaage. Even though I wasn't that hungry, I found myself ordering a set that came with both.


The Bowl
The broth was a greasy, stinky tonktosu. It was messy and salty, and pretty delicious if a bit generic. Eating the thin noodles without sipping too much of the soup cut out enough of the salt to make it more palatable.

The karaage were big, hulking chunks of chicken with fresh, crispy skin. The pieces were coated in curry powder, and though the inside was a bit dry, overall they were quite good.



Would I Go Again?
Yeah, especially when if I'm very hungry.


Should You Go?
I recommend it for those who are hungry; I hear students enjoy this place because of how cheap it is to stay full for days.


中華そば 高安

Saturday, February 10, 2018


One area I had been meaning to go for ramen since I first moved to Osaka was Ichijoji. Ichijoji is a small area in northern Kyoto city that is famous for not much outside of ramen. My plan was to visit one shop, go for a hike, and then make another stop at another shop. With that in mind, I picked somewhere pretty digestible at first: chuka soba shop Chinyu.


The Bowl
This was kind of similar to another Kyoto bowl I had recently, Shinpuku Saikan. It was a classic chuka soba, but where Shinpuku Saikan had a dark broth, Chinyu's was a cloudier chicken broth, with the same amount of pork back fat floating in it. It was simple, with standard chashu and firm noodles: a nice foundation on which to go hiking.


Would I Go Again?
I wouldn't trek all the way out to Ichijoji for it, but I think they have other shops I would consider stopping in.


Should You Go?
If you're looking for a sessionable bowl in Ichijoji, this place might be for you.



Sunday, February 4, 2018

Shinpuku Saikan

I happened to be by Kyobashi with a friend who let me know that famous Kyoto shop Shinpuku Saikan had a branch in Kyobashi. I didn't know that place had branches, let alone one in central Osaka. Without too much deliberation we decided to check it out.


The Bowl
Just like the main branch, this was a pleasing oily bowl of dark shoyu ramen. The thick yellow noodles were full of flavor, even if the chashu were the old-school style that are not my favorite.


Would I Go Again?
Maybe, but if I was bringing friends around I'd probably drag them to the main shop in Kyoto.


Should You Go?
Check this out if you're too lazy to hike to Kyoto for the flagship.



Thursday, February 1, 2018

Moeyo Mensuke

A new standard bearer has opened up in Fukushima. Though there is already plenty of ramen of high calibur in that area, Moeyo Mensuke decided to open up shop with a selection of fancy bowls. The two items available are duck shoyu, or golden shellfish shio. They both sounded good, but I had to go with the duck.


The Bowl
The base broth was a high quality refreshing shoyu with bit of woodiness and occasional bursts of yuzu citrus. The noodles were square, dark, and delicate. The chashu was simple with a bit of chew, and the duck was the most unusual part; dark and rich.


Would I Go Again?
I would, and have.


Should You Go?



Sunday, January 28, 2018


Fusuma no Kakero, lovingly known as "Fusukake" opened up a new shop. Technically it's not a full shop. It's kind of small. Instead of calling it their second shop, they're calling it their 1.8th shop. Located where they used to sell Niku Dogs, it seats maybe five people, and offers only maze soba.


The Bowl
The first appearance of the bowl was of more sweet gelatin pork than of noodles, which I knew right away was a good sign. With things finally mixed together, the taste of the fish powder shone the most through, with light fragrances from the onion and lemon. The noodles were thick and strong, and the chashu, as promised, was plentiful. There were gobs of fat and it had an almost gingery sweetness to it. Afterwards the mixed in rice dive was a fresh way to end, and clean up the leftover truffle oil.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?


麺屋 頭上注意 ふすかけ1.8号店