Thursday, January 1, 2015



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:

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!


The Beginning:大阪のデビュー

Friends in Ramenを楽しみましょう!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Naniwa Seimen Homare Shoten

Recently, one of my friends moved near Bishoen Station, southeast of Tennoji. Normally I would have no reason to go over there, but a tsukemen shop from Juso made the move too, and now I had two reasons to visit. Just a couple days after opening, Naniwa Seimen Homare Shoten offered their signature tsuke soba at a discounted 500 yen.


The Bowl
A sweet and salty gyokai tonkotsu tsukemen, with medium, slippery noodles left me satisfied though not impressed, but Naniwa Seimen's unique feature is the zosui that follows. After finishing the noodles, my friend and I received a hot stone and a bowl of rice to mix together with the remaining soup. Just in case there was a chance you were still hungry, this congee-like rice porridge will fill you up. The combination brought back memories of Cho Tonkotsu Nodo 8 and Fujiyama 55 (may it rest in piece), which is a good thing.


Would I Go Again?
Probably not, it's far.


Should You Go?
If you're in the area, it's a good shop to have.


なにわ製麺 誉商店

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Koboruto Basic

Nothing says time has past like a new shop at the seasonally changing Ramen Gekijo. This time the shop was Koboruto Basic, a shop whose theme was having standard styles of different kinds of ramen. They offered a chuka soba, a tonkotsu, a gyokai tonkotsu tsukemen, and a special clam shio. They recommended the tonkotsu, so I went with that.


The Bowl
And basic it was: a thin, foamy tonkotsu; not light by any means but not too rich either. The noodles were thin and chewy, and the chashu too was standard. Only the egg stood out as being extra creamy.


Would I Go Again?
I will when it changes shops; I don't feel the need to try Koboruto again.


Should You Go?
This was solid, standard tonkotsu, but I can't advise it when there's other very good tonkotsu nearby.



Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Over my time in Osaka, I've been able to go to most of the shops that I've wanted to. One that has evaded my reach is the legendary miso shop Mitsukabozu. Partially because of the dearth of miso in Kansai, Mitsukabozu's name reaches far in the prefecture. I had a chance to go to their Umeda branch as soon as that opened, but now, as a stopover on the way to a soccer game in Banpaku Park, I was finally able to visit the flagship shop in Toyonaka.

With white miso, red miso, and spicy miso soups, it was difficult for me to decide what to order. I wanted to get mini bowls of all of them, or better yet, to come back multiple times and try them all. After consulting with the waitress, she advised I go with the KANSAI, an assari fish ramen without any meat. It's not what I would have gone with on my own, but who am I to question the masters?



Minoh beer is the sign of a good shop
The Bowl
Normally I'm a fan of rich miso, but as Shiogensui showed me with shio ramen, Mitsukabozu proved to me how powerful a light miso can be. In many ways it tasted like a light seafood miso soup, but the underlying miso flavors were much more like the miso tare found in ramen, as opposed to the style used in miso soup. The soft and delicate noodles matched the soup, pulling up the subtle flavors in just the right dose. The thick, chewy menma provided contrast to the bowl as a strong palette cleanser, while the chashu fit the theme of the bowl, being thin and balanced in flavor. If there was one thing I didn't like about the bowl, it was that there was a bit too much of the chives. They were good in small doses, but towards the end of the bowl their garlicky flavor overwhelmed the rest of the soup.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?


味噌らーめん みつか坊主

Monday, November 3, 2014

Fukuryu Ramen Wadachi

Honmachi is not known for its ramen shops, but every once in a while, an interesting one pops up. This time the new shop is Fukuryu Ramen Wadachi, by the Yotsubashi side of Honmachi Station. I didn't know much about it, so I walked over there and sat down for a bowl.


The Bowl
Their standard bowl was a super creamy tori paitan. Underneath the deep chicken flavors were subtle accents of yuzu, and a pepperiness that I couldn't quite put my finger in, but may have been Szechuan peppercorn. The medium, firm noodles carried the yuzu flavor, and reminded me of Bokkoshi in how pasta-like this ramen was. Mixed up with a light yuzu-strip of chashu and a creamy half-boiled egg, this ramen left me in the state that much good ramen does: wanting more.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?


ふく流らーめん 轍

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Despite the fact that I had a filling bowl of tsukemen earlier in the day, I found myself in Osaka at night and hungry. It was pretty late, and although usually I would prefer takoyaki at times like this, there was a new hot late night ramen shop I wanted to try.

Shi43ya (pronounced Shijimiya) is named after shijimi, a shellfish featured in their main shijimi shio ramen.  It's hidden in an alley by a bunch of bars, so it's hard to notice. I was tempted to go for the shijimi miso ramen, but for my first time I had to stick with the classic shio.



The Bowl
This was shio ramen at its simplest, yet with the unusual twist of a bunch of clams thrown into the mix. The broth itself very light, salty, and clear; kind of like a thin clam soup, as opposed to some of the richer shios I've had before. I would generally prefer something a bit deeper, but for late night post (or mid) drinking, the simple soup, chewy noodles, and clams are a refreshing way to hopefully keep that hangover away.


Would I Go Again?
Yeah maybe, if the conditions were just right.


Should You Go?
If you like late night shio, this place is for you.



Monday, October 13, 2014

Tsukemen Man

As a continuation of cherry blossom season, I took an all-too-rare visit to Kyoto to go to another hanami event. With an opportunity like that, though, I decided I needed to stop and get a bowl of ramen on my way there. Nearby Demachiyanagi there's not a ton of shops; but there is one I've had my eye on: Tsukemen Man. They embraced their name and offered up a specially made rich gyokai tonkotsu tsukemen.


The Bowl
The broth was a mostly by-the-numbers thick gyokai mix; though it was a bit too rich and salty. The noodles made up for that as they were thick and shiny, easy to pick up yet resilient enough to take in a lot of soup and add a light egg flavor of their own. The chashu was good, though like the soup too, a bit salty, and over time it became harder to finish the bowl.


Would I Go Again?
I'll try another place in Kyoto next time I'm there.


Should You Go?
If you want some tuskemen in Demachiyanagi, otherwise go somewhere else.