Thursday, January 1, 2015



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:

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!


The Beginning:大阪のデビュー

Friends in Ramenを楽しみましょう!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ryukishin RIZE

It was a weekday night and I was walking home form work. I wanted to stop to get something to eat, so I decided to try recently opened miso shop Men no Kuni. However, it happened to be Men no Kuni's set day off, so I couldn't go in. Looking for a backup, I turned to Namba Parks's branch of Ryukishin. I had been there once before I started writing this blog, but the restaurant has since been renovated and given the RIZE subtitle so I was curious to see what was different.

They had a variety of clear and thick shio bowls, and I went with the spicy meat and chicken taitan shio soba. That's a mouth full.



The Bowl
Shio is not normally a style you associate with a thick and meaty broth, but RIZE's bowl was just that. The rich umami of the soup was more like a sauce for the medium, square noodles. It was like a cream sauce pasta, and traces of my bowl at Bokkoshi flashed by. There were bits of friend onions and long strips of menma to go along with the two slices of chashu, that weren't so exciting, but were made delicious by being covered in the saucy soup.


Would I Go Again?
Yeah, I've been a fan of Ryukishin in the past, and this may even be the best branch.


Should You Go?
Yeah, check it out.



Saturday, July 19, 2014


A little while back I went to new shop Mondorian for a special limited bowl of ramen. They gave me a coupon for a free egg the next time I visited, so I decided I needed to come back again to try their standard fare. Mondorian offered three bowls: a red tonkotsu, black sardine shoyu, and a white chicken paitan. The red was the recommended, so I decided to go with that one.


The Bowl
Like some of the tonkotsu bowls I had first tried when I came to Japan, Mondorian's broth was covered in layers of oil and filled with chunks of jelly-like lard. It was thick and fatty, kind of like a light if salty version of Kansai classic Muteppo. The noodles were surprisingly thick; thin noodles are normally associated with tonkotsu, but the broth was thick enough that these worked quite well. The dark chashu was tender and flavorful, and like the broth, covered in fat.


Would I Go Again?
For a place that made me feel completely dead after eating it, I would hope for it to have a little higher quality and a little less straight fat. I probably won't be back.


Should You Go?
This one is for people who love super thick, salty ramen. Others can skip.



Thursday, July 10, 2014

Men Ippai

Tsukamoto Station - a place I had heard of but never visited. I had heard of it only in passing; a couple times from people, and once as the location of a branch of Suzume. I assumed that that meant there would be a bustling area surrounded by the station, so on a lazy Sunday I walked over there. I arrived and there was...nothing. Not wanting to leave completely empty-handed, I took a photo of the station name.


And let's not forget that while I was there I stopped at Men Ippai. A couple of shoyu bowls: one assari and one kotteri. A long walk on a hot day meant that I wanted to try the lighter one and I went for the assari.


The Bowl
A classic looking shoyu, the broth glimmered with oil and gobs of pig fat. There was salt, and maybe a little fish, along with the straight, noodles that looked uneven as if they were handmade. The grease extended to the piece of chashu stretched across the top of the bowl, and like the broth, the chashu was passable but left something to be desired.


Would I Go Again?
Nah, it was far and disappointing.


Should You Go?



Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Sekai Ichi Himana Ramenya

A few weeks a new ramen shop opened up in Nakanoshima. After several attempts to visit it, I finally found a day I knew it would be open, and went by. Run by the same people of Kuso Oyaji Saigo no Hitofuri and Jinrui Mina Menrui, this shop was sure to have a strange name as well. In English means "The World's Most Idle Ramen Shop". The menu items all had weird names and their "personalities" were based on the different owners of the aforementioned shops. I asked for a recommendation and went with the CAPTAIN GOLD shoyu.

何週間前に中之島に新しい店ができました。何回か行ってみたんですけど、ようやく空いている日を調べて行きました。「くそおやじ最後のひとふり」と「人類みな麺類」を作った人に作られたのでやっぱり変な名前がありました。全てのメニュー名も変で味は店主の性格に基づいているらしいです。おすすめの「CAPTAIN GOLD」醤油にしました。

"The most desarted Rámen-Bar in the world..."
Can I just order that?
The Bowl
If you look at that picture of the bowl and think you see a giant circular piece of chashu floating at the top, that's because that is what you see. Not to be defated by their sister shop, Sekai Ichi made sure the chashu was so big I couldn't see the bottom of the bowl. The golden soy sauce soup was smooth and easy to drink; light but tasty enough that I couldn't stop. The square noodles were light too, but chewy. Of course the chashu was huge and juicy, but it kept with the assari feel of the rest of the bowl, and made for a winning combination.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?



Sunday, June 22, 2014


In February, I had a trip where I'd have to leave from Nagoya airport. Waking up early to take the shinkansen early just to get on an airplane is a bit of a nightmare, but I knew that at least I could get something good out of it. Chubu Airport has a ramen street, home to a couple of places I don't know very well, and one branch of Misen. I love Misen, so I had to stop by.


The Bowl
Clear, spicy broth. Thin, chewy noodles. Tons of oil and chunks of ground pork. It's everything I had the first time, letting the spices clear my senses and the oil clear my colon. Maybe not the best idea right before a flight, though.


Would I Go Again?


Should You Go?


中国台湾料理 味仙

Thursday, June 19, 2014


One Friday night I ran into a friend in Shinsaibashi. We had some shopping to do and then decided to get dinner. Without any other ideas of where to go, I headed us towards the new Namba branch of Juso's shop Bokkoshi. They do a chicken paitan, so that's what I ordered.


The Bowl
The broth was thick and creamy, it was less like a typical ramen broth, and more like a cream pasta. The noodles were long and flat, and covered in the milky sauce, they might have been easier to eat with a fork than with chopsticks. Light chicken chashu, onions, and parsley, made for an unusual if delicious bowl of ramen.


Would I Go Again?
I'd like to.


Should You Go?