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!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Tenkatoitsu Ramen Battle - Day 3

Day 3 of the Tenkatoitusu Ramen Battle! First up was Onomichi ramen Koh.


The Bowl
It turns out that thin, hoison sauce-tasting shoyu broth warms you quite up on a cold day. There was just a bit of pork back fat, much less than the bowls I had in Onomichi. This worked out though, as it left me satisfied and hungry for another bowl.


My next bowl was at Gachinko Ramen Michi Hiiragi.

次にがちんこらーめん道 柊に行きました。

The Bowl
A meat-laden shish kebab? Now that's what I call ramen. The soup here was like liquid fat with a dose of garlic. I don't know if it was made to be drank, but it worked well as a dipping oil for the various meats and veggies that came with the dish. Not too surprising, the crispy skinned karaage and fatty square of bacon were the highlights.



Sunday, October 8, 2017

Tenkatoitsu Ramen Battle - Day 2

Day 2 at the Tenkatoitsu Ramen Battle. Let's get into it then.


First up was golden chicken chuka soba from Yamagata Shinshunya.


The Bowl
A light, shoyu broth with the simple taste of chicken oil glazing the top, topped off with a dash of pepper. The noodles were fat and curly, and they worked well despite the simplicity of the broth. Chewy bits of motsu closed off the bowl.


Bowl number two was Keika Ramen from Kumamoto.


The Bowl
Even though I haven't been to Kumamoto, I'm familiar with the style. Garlicky tonkotsu with a hard-boiled egg plopped right in the middle. Cabbage, seaweed, and most scrumptiously thick slices of chashu with charred edges.



Sunday, October 1, 2017

Tenkatoitsu Ramen Battle - Day 1

Ramen festivals in Nishiumeda have started to become an annual event. They happen to be very convenient for me, so whenever they occur I make frequent trips to them.


First up was Ganja's seafood tonkotsu chashu ramen.


The Bowl
A nice, cloudy fishy bowl to warm my spirits at the first day at this festival. Nothing is more welcoming in a bowl than a large slice of chashu, fresh with grill marks.



Hey, what's my name doing on there?

Sunday, September 24, 2017


Tsumugu is a famous shop, ranked in the top ten of Tabelog's country-wide list of ramen shops. I tried once before to make a visit, but was thwarted by a long line. Little did I know just how long that line gets. I have a new record wait time for ramen: three and a half hours. When I finally made it in I ordered the mature ramen with an egg.


The Bowl
It may have just been my hunger, but this was an articulately constructed bowl. The seasoned chicken broth was mellowed out by fish, each sip bringing deeper flavors to the forefront. The noodles were medium and a bit rough, picking up the saltier edges from the soup. There were some green onions, a fishcake, my well-deserved creamy egg, and a melt-first-in-the-soup-then-again-in-your-mouth slice of chashu.


Would I Go Again?
Yes, but I don't know about that line.


Should You Go?



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