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!

Sunday, January 22, 2017


One shop near me is a bit of a strange one. It's a 24 hour almost diner-looking place with a giant American flag in front, neon beer advertisements, and an accompanying menu with too many pages to count. Still, ramen is ostensibly their specialty, so it was a matter of time until I showed up for a bowl.

On this night I was making my way home with a friend when we realized at the middle of night that we were hungry. Reminding me of my times in New York, nothing fits late nights quite right like a diner, so Kosuiten was perfect. Of course I had to order something funky, so I got the carbonara tsukemen. My friend went even further and got the corn mayo ramen.


今回、深夜に友達とバーから変えていたところでお腹がすいてきました。ニューヨークにいたときにこんな場合だったら絶対ダイナーに行っていたので、ダイナーっぽい「壺水天 」がちょうどよかったです。せっかくこういう店に入ったので、変わっているメニューにせなあかんと思いました。つけ麺カルボにして、友達がさらに変なコーンマヨラーメンにしました。

Corn mayo ramen

The Bowl
As expected, this was...strange. The broth was no normal tsukemen broth. In fact, it was barely soup at all; more like a mix of sesame and garlic oil. That's not a strike against it. I don't think normal broth would go with a carbonara themed mixture, but the noodles themselves, while nicely chewy, also didn't bring much flavor to the table. It felt like eating C-grade pasta in oil sauce. The bacon wasn't too bad, I suppose. The corn mayo ramen on the other hand was barely edible...but corn mayo is not really my jam anyway.



Would I Go Again?
The ramen wasn't any good, but to be honest, I could see a drunk version of myself stumbling in and trying some karaage or something. Not sober though.


Should You Go?


こだわりらーめんカフェ 壺水天

Sunday, January 15, 2017


One of the most famous tsukemen shops in Osaka just happened to open a shop right by where I work! It replaced a mediocre-at-best curry udon shop, so this was a win-win. Many moons ago I visited the Esaka flagship shop of Eguchi, so I knew what I was in for, and I didn't feel bad for ordering the spicy tsukemen over the standard one.


The Bowl
Just like the flagship, this was a thin and easy to drink seafood soup tsukemen. The broth was quite red, but the spiciness was light and tingly overall. I appreciate Eguchi's choice of shiny, slurpable noodles that are thick, but not too much for their broth. The menma and chashu were both decent enough, but the draw of Eguchi remains the refreshing never-gets-old soup.


Would I Go Again?
I would, and have.


Should You Go?
Compared to most of the heavy tsukemen you find in Osaka, Eguchi is a welcome change of pace. Anyone looking for an easy to drink tsukemen should come here.


麺処 えぐち

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Every once in a while some friends of mine insist they have found the best ramen shop. Often I recognize the shop they're talking about, but when I haven't, I am excited to discover a new place. This time a couple of friends took me to Ippo, a tonkotsu ramen shop in Minamimorimachi.


The Bowl
And what I received was indeed a solid bowl of tonkotsu. It had a little bit of that tonkotsu stink, and was not lacking in salt, but in the end it wasn't that heavy. The noodles were thin and hard, representing classic Hakata style. The chashu slices were thick and tender, with a strange almost sake-like aftertaste. This was a good bowl of tonkotsu, and I can understand why my friends love it, but unfortunately doesn't make it into my top bowls of Osaka.


Would I Go Again?
Unfortunately, it has closed so even if I wanted to I can't


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



Monday, January 2, 2017


I got back to Osaka after my trip to Tokyo, and was ready to hit some more new shops. On this night I visited Kotetsu, a brand new shop in Shin-Osaka. Their menu was simple, which I appreciate: ramen, or niku miso ramen. I ordered the one with the extra meat.


The Bowl
The ramen was an oily if middling shoyu; not too light, not too dark, but lacking any major characteristic of its own. The noodles were medium and round, and were missing flavor because the soup was a bit too thin for them. The chashu too did not stand out, but the niku miso was good and added some much needed spice to the bowl.


Would I Go Again?
I won't make it back to this place.


Should You Go?
You can skip this one.



Thursday, December 22, 2016

Yatai Ramen Takaryu

To finish out my trip to Tokyo, I wanted to stop at one last classic ramen shop. I tried to go with friends to Kururi in Iidabashi. The line was super long, so we gave up and went to the one in Takadanobaba. That one was also too busy, so we were in a rush to find a shop that we could stop in and I could still make my shinkansen back to Osaka. We ended up at another shop I went to when I first lived in Tokyo, chicken ramen shop Yatai Ramen Takaryu.


The Bowl
Takaryu's ramen was a clear chicken shio. It was salty with some rough edges provided by the fried garlic mixed in. More than a normal bowl of ramen, it tasted like Vietnamese pho ga. The noodles were thin and slurpable, but they too were on the salty side. Of the toppings the bamboo was the most interesting; it was sweet with a nice crunch.


Would I Go Again?
There are too many shops in Tokyo; I don't see myself making it here again.


Should You Go?
If you're in Takadanobaba looking for shio, it's a solid spot.


屋台らーめん 鷹流

Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Continuing with my trip to Tokyo, I decided to meet a friend for some ramen in Tokyo Station. I've been to most of the shops that were there when I lived in Tokyo, but by now some shops have moved out and new ones have moved in. Ikaruga has been there the whole time, and that's where I decided to go this time.

Back when I lived in Tokyo I visited the flagship shop of Ikaruga in Ichigaya. That shop has some of the bet tonkotsu ramen I've ever had; frothy, round tonkotsu but still with robust, rich pork. The shop in Tokyo Ramen Street specializes in gyokai tonkotsu, so I was in for something a little different.



The Bowl
This was a different beast from the tonkotsu ramen I had at the main shop once upon a time, but the Ikaruga touch was there. The broth was creamy smooth, a rich gyokai tonkotsu that was just a tad oily and reminiscent of favorite shop Mitsuboshi Seimenjo. The noodles were medium, a nice fit for the thickness of the soup, and too went down smooth. The bowl was adorned with a creamy egg, long, fibrous menma, and two large, round slices of sweet chashu.


Would I Go Again?
This was very good, but I can't help myself from checking out a different shop in Tokyo Station next time.


Should You Go?
If you're doing Tokyo Ramen Street, this should definitely be a candidate for which shop to go to.


東京駅 斑鳩