Sunday, January 1, 2017

Welcome!
ようこそ!

日本語は英語のあと!

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!

このテキストをまだ読んでいたら、下記にあるリンクを叩いてみてください:

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
自己紹介:自己PR
ラーメン用語辞典:英語の辞書みたいな感じなので、英語の勉強になるかもしれません

Friends in Ramenを楽しみましょう!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Sekai ga Men de Michiru Toki

After Jinrui Mina Menrui became a hit, its creators have expanded into a couple other shops. And, as happens with time, employees of the shop have come into their own and created their own shops. Today's shop is Sekai ga Men de Michiru Toki, another wordy title that means "the time when the world is full of noodles".

Just like the other shops, this one focuses on dark shoyu ramen. There is the assari ORANGE PHANTOM, the koi BLACK YOUTH, and the one I went with, the middle-of-the-road ALONE.

人類みな麺類が人気になってから姉妹店が何軒か出てきました。で、その店で修業した人も店ができました。今回の店は人類みな麺類で修業した人が作った「世界が麺で満ちる時」です。

他の店と同様に醤油ラーメンがメインです。あっさりのORANGE PHANTOMも濃いBLACK YOUTHもありました。バランスがとれたALONEにしました。

The Bowl
The ALONE was made with soy sauce used with sashimi, and it came through in the broth. More than usual the broth tasted directly like soy sauce, and it had the kind of sweetness that goes with wasabi and fish. The medium, grainy noodles paired with this definitely brought memories of sushi. The other toppings added their own seasonings as well. The chashu was thin and simple, but it had lemon pepper kick, and the menma were knotty branches swimming in the soup.

ALONEが刺身用の醤油で作られました。スープを味見したら、わかりました。普通の中華そばより直接の醤油の味がしたし、甘味がしました。つぶつぶな中部とメント一緒に食べたら、すしに近かったです。チャーシューが胡椒に味が引き出されて、木っぽいメンマもうまかったです。

Would I Go Again?
I would like to.

Should You Go?
Yes.

Information
世界が麺で満ちる時

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Kusumotoya

June is prime time for Japanese plums, which means it's a prime time for umeshu. A friend of mine and I visited Wakayama for an umeshu festival, and given how cheap it was and how many varieties there are, we hit it pretty hard. The only way to end a sweet day bender like that is with a bowl of Wakayama ramen. It had been a while since I tried the Wakayama variety, so I was happy to swing by shop Kusumotoya, not too far from the station for their tonkotsu shoyu.

6月は梅の季節で、梅酒の季節です。友達と一緒に和歌山にある梅酒祭りに行きました。すごく安くて、いろんな種類があったので、酔っぱらいました。ちょうど飲んでからのラーメンを食べたくなったので久しぶりの和歌山風「楠本屋」というラーメン屋さんに行ってみました。


The Bowl
A strong tonkotsu, porky but full of salt, too, this ramen had just the right viscosity to balance out my drunken stupor. Overall the bowl was simple: thin noodles, and thin chashu, both with a slight amount of chew. Good for what it was.

豚骨らしい和歌山ラーメンでした。ちょっととろみがある塩っぱいスープなので酔っぱらってからよかったです。シンプルで麺が細くてチャーシューが噛みやすかったです。そのタイミングでよかったです。

Would I Go Again?
It was good but it's far. I'll try a different Wakayama ramen shop.

美味しかったですけど、遠いです。次他の和歌山ラーメンの店に行ってみたいです。

Should You Go?
It's good if you happen to be in Kainan city.

海南市にいるなら行ったらいいです。

Information
楠本屋

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Tantan

For today's trip I decided to go to Tantan in Tennoji, a sister shop to Senba Tantanmen in Yotsubashi. Just like the former shop, they had a variety of different styles, including a mild white sesame bowl. I had to go with the spicy one, though, so I went with the Taiwan-style red tantanmen.

今日のラーメン屋さんは天王寺にある「担担」でした。船場担々麺の姉妹店みたいでした。その店と同じように、いろいろな担々麺を提供していました。やっぱり辛いのを食べたかったので台湾式赤い担々麺にしました。

The Bowl
As advertised, the bowl of ramen reminded me more of Taiwanese beef noodle soup than of traditional ramen. The broth was thin and dark, spicy, and with small pieces of pork and chives floating about. The noodles were short, curly, and chewy, and the miso diced pork was good, but the hard-boiled egg felt a bit out of place.

名前通り台湾牛肉麺にすごく似ていました。スープはあっさりした黒かったです。麺が細くて縮れていました。ニラもメンチも散らされていてうまかったですけど、玉子があまりあわなかったです。

Would I Go Again?
It was good, but I don't think I'll make another stop.

美味しかったですけど、他の行ってみたい店があります。

Should You Go?
If you're looking for some Chinese-style tantanmen, check it out.

中華っぽい担々麺に興味あるなら行ってみてください。

Information
中華厨房 担担

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Noko Kyo Toripaitan Menya Mitsuru

Most of the time I eat ramen in Osaka, but one by one I am making my way through the shops in Kyoto, especially the ones in the downtown districts of Karasuma and Kawaramachi. Today's shop is Noko Kyo Toripaitan Menya Mitsuru, off a small alleyway by Karasuma. As the "toripaitan" in their name suggests, they specialize in chicken ramen. They had a white shio and a black shoyu, so I decided to try the shio.

普段大阪でラーメンを食べますけど、京都のラーメン屋さんもいろいろ開拓しようとしています。特に、烏丸と河原町のへんの店によく行っちゃいます。今回「濃厚京鶏白湯めんや美鶴」という店に行ってみました。名前通り、鶏ラーメンが名物です。白の塩も黒の醤油もあって、塩にしました。



The Bowl
The broth was yellow and clear, but was a surprisingly hearty chicken soup. It was pretty hearty, but the short, and thin noodles still went well pulling the goop and various toppings out. A ginger-filled pork ball, some light and tender chashu, and some sharp onions that had a scent of red onions you find on a hot dog were among the items. When the thing was taking me down towards the end, I added bit of black shichimi and sansho, which toned it down a bit.

黄色くて透き通ったスープでしたけど、意外とこってりっぽかったです。短いストレート麺でも合いました。ショウガ風味の肉玉、とろけるチャーシュー、辛いホットドッグでよく見るネギが乗っていました。最後ら変にちょっとしんどかったので、京都黒七味と山椒をかけました。

Would I Go Again?
Yeah, it was a solid chicken ramen shop in a good location.

美味しかった鶏ラーメンで便利な場所なのでまた行くかもしれません。

Should You Go?
If you're into chicken ramen, check this place out.

鶏系ラーメンが好きなら、行ってください。

Information
濃厚京鶏白湯 めんや美鶴

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Hirudora

Which is more exciting, a new shop by new people, or a new shop by people you know you love? The people behind Junk Story and Men to Kokoro 7 opened a new shop in convenient Niponbashi: Hirudora. Hirudora stands for "lunch dragon" or some similar pun if that helps it make more sense. The dragon part I assume refers to the style of ramen - red, spicy miso. As with any good Japanese spicy restaurant, they let you choose your level of spice. At level five it starts to cost my money, so I low-balled it with level three.

全く情報がない新しい店か、好きな店の新しい姉妹店、どっちが盛り上がりますか?Junk Story麺と心7を作った人によって便利な日本橋で「ひるドラ」という店ができました。名前は面白いですけど、「ドラ」を見るとドラゴンのファイアを指しているかなと思っていました。ラーメンはそれっぽく辛口味噌です。辛さが選べて、5辛からちょっとお金がかかるので、3辛にしてみました。

Well if it isn't some congratulations flowers from Tori Soba Zagin.

鶏soba 座銀からの花です。

The Bowl
What do you have to put in the soup to make it that red? The answer, I infer from the flavors, is lots of ra-yu and red pepper. The abundance of garlic helps draw out the flavors of the soup, too, which ends up tasting a bit like Korean ramyun. Underneath all this, the miso is secondary. The noodles were square and thick, and were good and pulling out the essence of the flavor, while leaving a lot of the spice and oil behind. There were chewy pieces of sliced pork that added some nice texture, and a fatty and flavorful cut of chashu.

真っ赤。ほんまに真っ赤。味見したかぎりラー油と一味がめちゃくちゃ入っていました。ニンニクもスープノ味を引き出しました。韓国のラーミュンにちょっと似ていました。味噌の味もちょっとしました。麺は四角くて太かったので、油抜きの風味が出てきました。食感がいい豚バラと濃いチャーシューの一枚も乗っていました。

Would I Go Again?
This was the weakest of the three shops, which means I still wouldn't mind going again.

姉妹店の方が好きですけど、やっぱりまた行ってみたいです。

Should You Go?
Anyone looking for some spice should stop by, but if you're not into that, this place is not for you.

「辛いから食べたい!」という人は行ったらいいです。

Information
ひるドラ

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Ramen Bakajikara

I don't make it to ramen shops outside of Osaka city as much as I'd like. That's why I'm happy when any shop decides to bring their business closer to me. Ramen Bakajikara is a rare miso shop, and just recently they decided to move from the suburbs of Sakai right into downtown Namba. Bakajikara specializes in spicy ramen, and whenever I'm at a shop like this I get confused on where on the spicy spectrum I should order. For their numbing spicy kurenai miso ramen they offered levels from one to three, so I played the middle and ordered level two.

大阪の田舎の店にあまり来ません。それで、そんな店が市内に引っ越ししたらうれしくなります。らーめん馬鹿力は大阪であまり見ない味噌専門店です。堺市から難波に移転してきました。名物が辛みそで、辛さはどうしたらいいかを悩んでいました。痺辛紅味噌ラーメンを注文して、辛さ1から3まで選べました。真ん中の2にしてみました。

The Bowl
This was an intense, flavor-packed miso, loaded with spices and crushed pepper. From the moment my lips touched the soup I could feel the numbing peppers begin their slow course of removing feeling from my mouth. The noodles did not hold back; they were medium-thin but chewy in a similar way to tantanmen noodles, and they brought the spice with them. Otherwise to cut the heat there were a smorgasbord of veggies: bok choy, carrots, kikurage, onions, and more. Really, though, they were all just vehicles for slow demise of my taste buds.

 すっごいこくがある味噌でした。香辛料も山椒の香りだけで鼻がしびれました。スープノ一口めを飲んだ瞬間に口がビリビリしました。麺もそんな感じでした。担々麺にちょっと似ていて、辛かったです。野菜もたっぷり提供してもらいました。チンゲンサイ、ニンジン、キクラゲ、タマネギなどが乗っていました。だんだん舌が感じられなくなってきました。

Would I Go Again?
Yes.

はい。

Should You Go?
Yes.

辛いものが好きな人は行きなさい。

Information
らーめん馬鹿力