Sunday, January 1, 2017



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, December 7, 2016

Mugi to Olive

Continuing my visit to Tokyo, I tried to go to super famous Kagari in Ginza. After waiting on line for a few minutes, though, the staff guaranteed me that I would be waiting at least a couple hours more. I had plans to go see Awa Odori in Koenji, so I didn't have that kind of time.

Instead I went to Mugi to Olive, a gourmet ramen shop just down the road. They offer myriad interesting bowls, and I chose the special chicken sardine clam triple soba.


その代わり、近くにある「むごとおりーぶ」グルメラーメン屋さんに行ってみました。いろいろなおもろそうなメニューがあって、特製鶏 煮干 蛤 トリプルSOBAにしました。

The Bowl
The base of the soup itself was a very drinkable but roasty shoyu. There was a slight fishiness at first that grew deeper as the three namesake toppings found their way deeper into the soup. "Mugi" means wheat, and sure enough the noodles were dark and some of the wheatiest I've had. The bowl was adorned by some hearty potato sticks, in addition to the tangy, mild chicken, and tough but juicy chashu. The hamaguri were a nice bonus too, but their main contribution was slowly tilting the soup to be more deeply seafood flavored. There was so much going on in this bowl; and there were some misses, like the egg that felt out of place, most of it worked well.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?


I was able to eat with enough time to meet my friends for Awa Odori!


Ginza Noodles むぎとオリーブ

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Menya Sho no Gotsubo

Continuing my trip to Tokyo, on one night I ended up meeting a friend by Shinjuku Gyoenmae. It was after I got back from Yokohama, and I needed some dinner. In Osaka I now have the problem of occasionally running out of new ramen shops at certain stations, but not in Tokyo. Some checks of my favorite ramen blogs and I found Menya Sho no Gotsubo. Gotsubo makes "veggie tsukemen", which means tsukemen that features vegetables - vegetarians beware: there is meat in the broth. In particular, the choices are shrimp tomato or chicken ginger, the latter of which I chose.

東京の旅行を引き続いて、新宿御苑前で友達と会いました。横浜から来て、お腹が空いていました。大阪によく行く駅の周りに行ったことがないラーメン屋さんがない場合がありますけど、東京はそうでもないです。いろいろなブログをチェックして、「麺や 庄の gotsubo」が見つかりました。gotsuboの名物はベジつけ麺。ベジタリアンに残念ですけど、結局スープに肉と魚が入っていす。海老とまとと鶏生姜のがあって、後者にしました。

The Bowl
The plate was laden with a colorful garden, all meant to be sampled with the chicken ginger dip. The broth itself was a thick and creamy potage. It overpowered the vegetables at first, but as the flavors of the vegetables were mixed in, it balanced to a nice, mild medium. I particularly enjoyed the light and crispy pieces: potato and lotus root chips, and watery but crunchy radish. A bit in the direction of more normal toppings were a juicy bit of pork, and an egg that tasted slightly of ume. A wild experiment combining a heavy tsukemen with a panoply of vegetables, and a successful one at that.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?


麺や 庄の gotsubo

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


As part of my trip to Tokyo, I made a stop in Yokohama. And what would a stop in Yokohama be without a meal at a Yokohama-style Iekei ramen restaurant? It was late and I wanted to get some sleep so I picked a shop near where I was staying: Goruya. As is standard at an Iekei place, I got the shoyu tonkotsu.


The Bowl
It had been a while since I had the oily Yokohama-style ramen, and it was about as I remembered: oily and powerful, strong-tasting but also coma-inducing. The noodles were thick and firm, and the salt-doused nori and spinach were pretty good. The chashu on its own was representative of the bowl as whole: standard and solid.


Would I Go Again?
Next time I'm in Yokohama I'll try a new place.


Should You Go?
It's a solid joint if it's right around where you are.



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sora no Iro

Any trip to Tokyo comes with lots of ramen. Tokyo Ramen Street is so central, and right next to the Shinkansen, so it's hard to stop anywhere else when I arrive. This time I tried ramen street newcomer Sora no Iro, an odd shop that prides itself on vegan ramen. I've rarely ever had this easy to mess up dish before, so I held my breath even though I had heard only good things.


The Bowl
The look, the smell, everything about this is different from standard ramen, almost to the point of questioning if it is ramen. It had aromas of carrots and tomatoes, clearly main ingredients judging by the orange color of the soup. The thin broth tasted similarly, with some potato after-taste as well. The noodles were unique as well. They were made with udon flour and paprika, producing flat, reddish, elastic wheat.

Let's not forget the mass of vegetables on top. There was cabbage, zucchini, and lotus root chips. Tomatoes, carrots, and yuzu pepper on the side. A creamy, tangy egg. It was very different from a bowl made from meat, but it was hearty and delicious, without leaving me needing a nap afterwards.



Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?


ソラノイロ NIPPON

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Fukuryu Rapas Bunke Wadachi

After my previous attempt and failure to go to Fukuryu Rapas Bunke, I had the itch to go back. As soon as I had a free moment, I headed over to Sakaisuji Honmachi to try the strange ramen pasta fusion place. They offered clam, curry, and chicken rapas. Without having any real idea which one to go for, I picked the first on the menu, the clam.


The Bowl
What is rapas? It turns out it's a half-way point between pasta and abura soba. Looking at the bowl, you would expect it to be a wacky abura soba, complete with thick noodles, onions, and some chewy, tangy pork. But mixing the tare in, and summarily the rice and tomatoes meant for the end of the meal betrays a garlic clam sauce that would be fit for a light pasta dish. Is it ramen or pasta? I'm not sure, but it was pretty good.


Would I Go Again?
This was very strange. So yes.


Should You Go?


ふく流ラパス 分家wadachi

Sunday, October 30, 2016


One of my friends living in Kobe told me for the longest time about a ramen shop she swore by. I don't make it to Kobe as often as I should, and she was pretty insistent, so I hopped on a train. Sangen is one of the four restaurants in the hidden Men Road, a plaza of four ramen shops in the Kobe Marui department store. I would like to visit all of them if I have time, but this time I stopped just at Sangen for the dashi shoyu.


The Bowl
Sangen's ramen was simple, but unique. The shoyu broth was thin and oily, but instead of being heavy on fat or garlic, it was filled with the flavors of the vegetables in it. Primarily it tasted like charred onions mixed with soy sauce, like a simple stir fry. Instead of the rice you get with stir fry, there were lo mein-like noodles, yellow and carrying the green onions taste.


Would I Go Again?
It was solid but I would like to try the shops surrounding it. Also it has closed since I've been there.


Should You Go?
You can't, because it's closed.