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, May 25, 2017


Bassanova will always stand strongly in my mind as one of the early bowls that pushed me along on my quest for ramen. It was one of the great ramen shops I discovered when I moved to Tokyo, and on one rainy day a friend and I ventured out to try it. Living away from Tokyo so long, it has been hard to try it again, but on one of my semi-regular trips I decided I needed to make an effort to stop by. Both this time and last I felt I needed to get Bassanova's specialty: green curry soba.


The Bowl
This was no watered-down curry; this was a powerful green curry that could stand on its own. There was just a bit of salt and spice that stood out, coating the medium flat noodles. There were a handful of small, succulent pieces of chashu. Slices of chicken in the soup reminded me of the curry noodle khao soi that I had in my recent trip to Thailand. This is a stellar model of the highs curry ramen can achieve.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?



Saturday, May 20, 2017

Sugoi Niboshi Ramen Nagi

On another December trip to Tokyo, it was only right that at some point I had a drunken bowl of ramen. I was drinking in the Golden Gai, which meant that bowl was Nagi, one I've had before and hope to have again, but have never blogged about. Without the dexterity required to take notes, I entered and ordered the sardine ramen.


The Bowl
For a bowl in the middle of a bar district, Nagi does not deserve to be as good as it is. It does not hold back on the sardine, but it keeps everything else in check: the salt, the oil, the fat. The fat, curly noodles, too, are perfect even though the soup isn't as thick as you'd normally expect to match. Piles of negi and nice spice finish off the bowl that's just as good sober as it is drunk.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ivan Ramen

At the end of 2015, the original Ivan Ramen shop, located in Tokyo, came to a close. Ivan Orkin left to go back to New York for good, and so the shop ended its stay, to be renamed and taken over by an apprentice. I had visited there once before while I lived in Tokyo, and I needed to make one last trip while it was still around. I went for the standard shoyu, with all the toppings.

2015年末にアイバンラーメンの本店が閉店することになりました。Ivan Orkinという社長がニューヨークに帰るため、店がなくなって、その代わりに店長が違う名前でやっているらしいです。東京に住んでいた時に一回行きましたけど、亡くなる前にもう一回行きました。醤油全部のせにしました。
The Bowl
The original Ivan Ramen bowl is a very solidly constructed bowl of shoyu ramen. The soup was light and mellow, with just a tinge of fish. The noodles cling together in a way that is easy to slurp, but retain their firmness. The toppings, too, are well done without being too loud. The egg was delectably creamy, the chashu was light if a bit tough, and the knotted menma were flavorful.


Would I Go Again?
I will visit the New York shop.


Should You Go?
You also should visit the New York shop.


Goodbye Ivan Ramen, see you in New York


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Osugi Seimen

Osugi Seimen, a recent favorite shop of mine in Nishinakajima opened up a second shop in Honmachi. It's a branch, so I wasn't in a rush to make it, but since I enjoyed my trip to the flagship so much I was looking for a chance to stop by. In fact, I enjoyed the double chicken soup at the original that I couldn't help but order that one at the branch as well.


The Bowl
As with the first time, the broth was thick and absurdly rich with flavor, heavy with chicken, and with charred overtones. The noodles were thick, flat and curly, a solid combination to get drenched with broth. If the soup wasn't filled with umami enough, the slice of juicy chashu was super fatty and fantastic. The egg, too, wasn't as simple as it looked, creamy with smoky flavors.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?



Saturday, May 6, 2017

Ramen Derby 2015

I'm always happy when Kansai has more ramen events. The Ramen Derby at the racetrack in Kyoto started in 2014, and of course I decided to stop by again in 2015.


Quite a selection

My first stop was at Junk Story's booth, where they offered a strong miso.

1軒目はJunk Storyのがち味噌でした。

The Bowl
This was a rich miso that was surprisingly very fishy. It tasted strongly of dried bonito. The noodles were medium and flat, mixed with a large dose of bean sprouts. The chashu slices were slightly tough with a nice chew, and there was a surprise hard-boiled quail egg just to keep things a little weird. Pretty good - as I'd expect from Junk Story.

こってり系の味噌で以外と魚介味が強かったです。鰹の味だったかな。麺は平打ちでもやちといっぱい絡んでいました。チャーシューはちょっと固めで、噛み応えが良かったです。最後の変なポイントはうずらでした。Junk Storyらしく美味しかったラーメンです。

Next up was a collaboration between Jinrui Mina Menrui and Sanku, two highly regarded shops, in the form of a mysterious fishy shoyu bowl.


The Bowl
This bowl was a slightly sweet, peppery shoyu. It tasted strongly of clams, and was complemented by Sanku's thick, grainy noodles. The chashu was juicy but logistically difficult to pick up; it was a weighty anchor in the sea of the soup. The fish and onions matched the sweetness of the bowl more appropriately.



Saturday, April 29, 2017


Normally I focus this blog on individual reviews on ramen shops, and not on what I'm doing. Recently, though, I visited Thailand, and while I didn't have ramen, I did try a variety of noodle dishes. This will be a primarily picture post, so enjoy, get hungry, and go visit.


Pad Thai

Tom yum

Grand Palace

Som tam with crab and anchovies

Coconut ice cream

Khao soi at

Khao soi at Kow Soi Siricha

Doi Suthep

Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan

Stir-fried noodles with chicken

Khao soi

Wararos Market

Wat Saen Suk

Final airport khao soi