Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Osaka Ramen Route

When I first came to Osaka, there was little to no information about ramen in Osaka in English. I started this blog to fix that, by documenting my own experiences eating in Kansai. Now it's time for the next step.

Presenting Osaka Ramen Route!
Osaka Ramen Route is a ramen stamp rally: a simple event where you get a bowl of ramen at five different shops, collect stamps, and earn a certificate proving your ramen mastery. It's running from now through July, so check out the site, eat some ramen, and post about it with #ramenroute!

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!

Monday, April 23, 2018


A while ago, a few shops in Namba and Nipponbashi banded together to start a stamp rally. The idea behind this stamp rally was that each shop would do a bowl similar to the ramen another shop serves. Though it was my first trip to Seimenya, I decided to try their Joroku-inspired shoyu.


The Bowl
The bowl was a solid rendition of Takaida-style shoyu: dark and peppery, and a little less salty and therefore more drinkable than the original. The broth itself had a kind of hoisin-like taste, similar to other classic chuka soba. The noodles were fat and hard. They were good, and I think they could have even afforded to be a little thicker, given the saltiness of the soup.


Would I Go Again?
Yes, the ramen was good and I was curious to try their specialty too.


Should You Go?
Unfortunately they don't serve this dish any more, but their other bowls looked good.



Not bad.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


One chain shop I had never been to was Satsumakko. A kagoshima style ramen shop, the flagship shop of this chain is in Tenma, though shops can be found everywhere in Osaka. I went to the Kitashinchi branch with some friends and ordered the standard ramen.


The Bowl
This fits in the style of Kinryu ramen: light and easy to eat, meant for post-drinking. The soup was a mix of oil, salt and garlic, barely meant to be drank, but more intended as a base of flavor for the curly noodles. That trademark tonkotsu stink wafted from the slices of chashu, further cementing this as a bowl that goes well with a beer.


Would I Go Again?
Yeah, but not alone, and not sober.


Should You Go?
This is not a must-stop shop, but it's worth a try for anyone who wants an infusion of garlic after some drinks.



Monday, April 2, 2018

Tai Dashi Ramen Kotone

Some areas in Osaka just have more ramen shops than others. This time I made my first trip to Nishi Kujo by bike to go to Tai Dashi Ramen Kotone. Kotone specializes in ramen made from sea bream. They offered shio, shoyu, and soupless abura soba, and I went with the shio.


The Bowl
The shio broth was light and cloudy. It contained a delicate amount of sea bream, not overpowering like in a lot of shrimp ramen. The semi-clear flat noodles had just a bit of bounce, and were very slightly curly. The rare chashu, too, was just a bit chewy, and the parts that were seasoned brought out the flavor of the pork. Mixing in the sesame and green onions gave the bowl's flavors a refreshing makeover midway through the meal.


Would I Go Again?
Maybe, if I'm in the area again.


Should You Go?

鯛出汁らーめん 琴ね

Also nearby, people were waiting at a bus stop to go to an Avicii concert.


Monday, March 26, 2018

Menya Joroku

I've visited the famous Joroku before when it was known as Marujo. Unfortunately, even though I'd been there a couple times, I had never actually uploaded my experience to the blog. Any excuse to return to Joroku is a good one! I got the standard chuka soba, which is done in the Takaida-kei style.


The Bowl
A take on the standard Takaida-kei super salty shoyu, Joroku presents a bowl just as dark and flavorful, but peppery and much more drinkable. The noodles, too, are thinner, but still plenty wheaty, able to handle the relatively less sodium in the bowl. This is still the kind of bowl I like to see: a modern, excellent execution of a standard style.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?


麺屋 丈六

Monday, March 19, 2018

Tonkotsu Mazesoba KOZOU+

One of my favorite ramen shops decided to open an abura soba shop just around the corner. As soon as I heard about it, I wasted no time in visiting Tonkotsu Mazesoba KOZOU+, and ordering their tonkotsu mazesoba with a small serving of rice to mix in at the end.


The Bowl
The bowl was laid out nicely at first, with Dolce Porco cubes of chashu and SKW or Special Kozo Wave noodles. I mixed it around, and the whole thing tasted a bit like a mongolian grill noodle stir fry dish. Partway through I mixed in some mustard on the side, and was almost like some kind of weird sausage pasta. This was thankfully a bit lighter than normal Kozo, but still delicious.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?