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, March 23, 2017

Komen Tamaran

A new Jiro style ramen shop opened up in Taisho a while ago. I in theory had been meaning to visit, but in reality had been putting it off a bit. Partially because the new shop replaced delicious Ramen Do, but really because I can only very occasionally handle Jiro style ramen. I saw a magazine really pushing Komen Tamaran's miso, though, and that was enough of a reason to actually push myself to make the trip.


The Bowl
As you'd expect from any Jiro style, the broth was a murky mix of, oil, garlic, and fat, and in this case, salty, strong miso, too. It wasn't bad overall, and it was filled with curly, ultra-thick ropes, that on their own seemed like a great idea, but were a too hard even for this flavorful mess. The chashu was fatty and tender, but was a hit a little too hard by the garlic punch in the soup and in the air.


Would I Go Again?
It was fine, but I'll find a new shop next time I'm going to make a challenge at Jiro style ramen.


Should You Go?
If you're a big fan of Jiro in Osaka, it's worth stop.


好麺 たまらん

Monday, March 13, 2017

Ichinichi Ichimen LAB+

No matter how hard I try to be aware of where I should eat, there are some shops that just slip through my fingers. Ichinichi Ichimen LAB+ is a shop that I noted when it first appeared, but I happened to be busy at the time. I forgot about it, but upon looking in a magazine I once again became aware of its existence. It's located right in Nagahoribashi, so getting there was no problem.

Ichinichi Ichimen offers a couple different versions of shoyu ramen. Their standard is the itsumo no yatsu or "regular one": a light soy sauce. If you're not in the mood for that, you can try the kyo wa kore or "today, this one", a sweeter shoyu, or the uwaki or "affair", with roast pork, ginger, and clams. I followed the strange menu's recommendation and got the itsumo no yatsu.



The Bowl
The shoyu broth had some interesting flavors. It was light soy sauce, supplemented by charred garlic. It was very subtle chicken, mellowed out by muscles mixed into the soup. Uniquely, their noodles were round, fat, and filled with flax seed. The seeds themselves were all but tasteless, but the noodles were pretty good overall. There was but a single chunk of chashu, clearly stewed in soy sauce for a long time, so much that it fell apart as soon as I was able to bring it to my mouth. The egg was a weird midway between a half-boiled and hard-boiled, and the ultra-thick menma had a strange drunk taste to them.


Would I Go Again?
This was a good shoyu with some interesting flare. I might be back.


Should You Go?
Citizens of Shinsaibashi, check this place out.



Monday, March 6, 2017


Out drinking on a Saturday, I was witness to one of the stranger events in Osaka: A series of boats that look like sushi were sent down Dotonbori river.


I'm not sure what exactly this parade was celebrating, but I'm happy to be there. All that sushi made me hungry, though, so my friends and I decided to find a place to eat. It was pretty late so we decided to try Shi43ya, a late night shio and clam shop, that had recently opened a second shop. On my visit to the first shop I got the standard, so this time I decided to try the shijimi miso ramen.


The Bowl
Even with miso, this was the kind of bowl you can appreciate late at night. After, or during, a night of drinking, I want something with a bit of oil, but pretty simple and not too thick. This bowl had enough miso to keep it flavorful, but was very easy to drink. The only toppings were the shijimi clams, curly noodles, and bok choy. I would have been left unsatisfied if I had come in with a big appetite, but it was perfect for the time.


Would I Go Again?
I won't go when I'm normally looking for ramen, but after a few drinks I wouldn't be surprised if I end up there again.


Should You Go?
When you're looking for just a bit of salt when you're out in Namba, stop at Shi43ya.


しじみラーメン Shi43屋

Thursday, February 23, 2017


After a beer festival at Osaka Castle, I was with some friends and hungry for some drunken ramen. There are not a lot of places in that area, but a little while ago a second shop of Fukushima's tonkotsu shop Mankai opened up by Tenmabashi. We all agreed that this was an acceptable choice with our bellies full of beer, and we marched towards the shop. On my trip to the Fukushima shop I tried the standard tonkotsu, so this time I decided to go for the more exotic Tomaton tomato ramen.


The Bowl
This was a bowl of tomato ramen, but before that, it was still a bowl of tonktosu ramen. The soup was porky and garlicky, with the blended in tomato juices coming in second, but still powerful. The noodles were flat, soaking in deeply the tomato flavors, along with what tasted like clam. The chashu came as a few simple, flat pieces, and there were some olives in the broth as well, a surprisingly fitting mix-in.


Would I Go Again?
It's not on the top of my list, but I could see making a stop again.


Should You Go?
If you're going on a tonkotsu tour of Osaka, Mankai should definitely be included.



Saturday, February 18, 2017

Shinjuku Menya Fuka

One by one I will make it to all of the good shops in Kyoto. Or the ones near Shijo and Sanjo, at least. This time after attending an event in Kyoto I was left hungry with a friend, so we walked down the block to Shinjuku Menya Fuka. Fuka is a shio shop, and most of what they had were variants on that. It being my first time, I got the natural salt ramen with an egg.


The Bowl
Fuka's shio was exactly what I expect a bowl of shio ramen to look like: clear and simple broth, a bit salty, but not so much so that you can't finish it. There was a tinge of garlic mixed in, and the green onions helped the broth have some character, too. The noodles were solid, medium, and curly, and although the chashu fell apart as soon as I picked it up, it was clearly nicely stewed in soy sauce.


Would I Go Again?
This was a solid shio, but I won't go all the way to Kyoto for that.


Should You Go?
It's a pretty good bowl if you're looking for shio in Kyoto.


新宿めんや 風花

Sunday, February 12, 2017


My scans for new shops picked up Yamafuji, in Sakaisuji Honmachi. I didn't know too much about it, but it was in a good location, so I ambled over to check it out. Giving nothing away, the ramen was called "Yamafuji Ramen", leaving even the style a mystery.


The Bowl
It turns out the ramen was a seafood pork bone broth. The soup was grainy: a lid of hot oil containing very peppery seafood flavors in the vein of Osaka classic Tamagoro. The curly noodles went down easy, but were just a bit too thick to be coated by the spiced oil of the broth. There were two thick slices of pork that were tough, but nice and simple. Overall solid, and there was a bonus ochazuke addition of rice and seaweed at the end. It was a nice if gratuitous bonus.


Would I Go Again?
It was alright but I don't need to stop by again.


Should You Go?
I would push this restaurant in particular for Tamagoro fans.


らーめん やまふじ