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!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Fukushima Ichimen

One day I'll get to all the Fukushima ramen shops. One long on my list has been Fukushima Ichimen, a basement shop with a large menu. When I entered I was recommended the seafood shio ramen, whose ingredients change when they feel like it. On my visit firefly squid happened to be one of the primary ingredients.


The Bowl
The toppings were unusual, but the underlying base was a simple shio, light with a sheen of oil. The noodles were thin but not slurpable in a way that welcomed chewing. Of course the main event was the firefly squid topping, which was bitter in the way squid organs often are, with a nice chew to it.


Would I Go Again?
I wasn't head over heels over the bowl, but I suppose I'll show up again as Fukushima Ichimen often appears on stamp rallies.


Should You Go?
This is one for those who like the weird.



Sunday, September 17, 2017

Niboshi Ramen Rarara

On one lazy Sunday I needed to get out of my house, and used that as an excuse to hit up a shop outside my normal radius. I visited Niboshi Ramen Rarara, a shop founded by an alum of Tamagoro, and got their dried sardine ramen.

だらだらとしている日曜日に家を出かけないとなと思っていて、まあまあ遠くにあるラーメン屋さんに行こうかなと決めました。「玉五郎」で終業した人の「二星らーめん ららら」というダジャレの名前の店に行って、味玉煮干しらーめんを頼みました。

The Bowl
As in the Tamagoro mould, the ramen was a cloudy, salty, sardine broth that was thick but far from impenetrable. The noodles were square and firm, in a good size to fit the saltiness of the soup. The chashu and egg were pretty simple when it came to flavor, but the egg was nice and creamy, and the dash of pepper on the pork went a long way.


Would I Go Again?
This was solid but I don't think I'll make it out here again.


Should You Go?
It's a solid addition to the Fuse ramen scene, but maybe not worth the trek out there.


二星らーめん ららら

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Daiki Men

Another day, another Taiwan maze soba shop. This time in the restaurant floor in a random building in Umeda Daiki Men popped up, and so I stopped in.


The Bowl
A nice minor twist on the standard formula, the noodles here were flat and chewy, and the whole bowl had aromas of anchovy. This had a bit more kick than similar bowls, thanks to the amount of red pepper powder placed on top. In the end, the vinegar on the side was a good finisher, helping to sweeten the bowl and cut the spice.


Would I Go Again?
This was a solid bowl, but I will find it hard to make time to visit again.


Should You Go?
It's pretty good, but there are plenty of other high caliber Taiwan maze soba places to try.



Sunday, September 10, 2017

Menya Hanabi

This has been a month of traveling. This time I got a chance to visit Nagoya.


Ogura toast

Miso katsu


Chicken wings

And of course a trip to a ramen shop. Taiwan maze soba has been big recently, so now I had a chance to go to Hanabi, the founder of the style.


The Bowl
The original Taiwan maze soba offered thick noodles, glazed with the yolk of an egg, with just a tiny kick and the background taste of nori.  It was chock full of garlic, and even the fatty chunks of pork bathed in the garlic oil. It was decadent, and I'm glad I took a long walk afterwards.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?


麺屋 はなび

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Sosaku Ramen Style Hayashi

One of my favorite shops Mitsukabozu has grown big enough to warrant one of its members leaving and forming their own shop. Tonight's shop was just that, Sosaku Ramen Style Hayashi. Like Mitsukabozu, they specialize in miso ramen, and though there were a variety of options, I went with the Hokkaido style miso ramen.

大好きなみつか坊主で終業した人が最近独立して新しい店をオープンしました。今回「創作らーめん style林」という味噌専門店に行きました。色々なメニューがありましたけど、北海道風味噌らーめんにしました。

The Bowl
This was a strong, dark miso that got richer with every step towards the bottom of the bowl. Medium-thick, wavy noodles filled the bowl, and on top was a myriad of toppings. There were onions, carrot slices, cabbage, floating chunks of miso niku, and most interesting of all, a wacky spring roll-like dumping made of tofu, and filled with rice noodles and leaves. Come for the broth and stay for the toppings.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?


創作らーめん style林

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


Another trip to Nara! This time I was able to stop at one of the most famous shops, Menya Noroma. We waited for about an hour in the cold, so I rewarded myself with a an egg and shrimp wonton topping on top of the chicken soba I ordered.


The Bowl
Noroma's known for their chicken stock, and how flavorful this half-transparent tan soup was, perfect to soothe the cold that still permeated my body. The noodles were long and flat, chewy but just the right thickness. The chicken and shrimp were great, but the main event here was the egg. It stood on the needle's edge of being creamy but not slimy, and had just a tinge of seasoning to make it stand out from the broth.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?