Thursday, August 25, 2011

Goma Goma

My friend from college arrived in town, and I had to show him some good ramen.  I've still not eaten at a lot of places that are highly regarded in Osaka, but one place that I'd been to once before and loved was the spectacularly spicy tantan tsukemen shop Goma Goma.  Goma means sesame in Japanese, and to match that theme, not only do they offer sesame grinders so that you can add as much to your bowl as you want, but the tea and wari-soup are also made from sesame.

They offer white and black broths, and spice levels normally from 1-10, then have a 15, 20, and just as a joke on the way bottom of the vending machine, 30.  Last time I got the black level 7.  I wanted a bit of a challenge, so this time I went for white 10.

Ōsaka-fu Ōsaka-shi Kita-ku Toyosaki 2丁目4−5
Goma Goma is on the east side of Shin-Midosuji, east of Nakatsu station.

One thing I love about tsukemen places is that they often have a mystical order to how you're supposed to enjoy the bowl.  At Goma Goma, not only do you get a side of noodles and toppings, but you can use a mortar and pestle to crush as much sesame as you like.  In addition they give you a block of burnt rice, which you are supposed to carefully add to the bowl, wait until it gets nice and flavorful, and then enjoy.

The Bowl
The black broth I had ordered the last time I visited Goma Goma was very rich, and the white was comparatively much milder.  It wasn't a bad thing, but I preferred the black.  It was still fairly unique, and the mildness did not stop the soup from lighting my tongue on fire.  I went through a healthy supply of tea and tissues as I went noodle by noodle trying to survive and finish.  The sesame matched the broth quite well, and the rich chashu made my mouth tingle after sitting in the soup for a couple minutes.  To top it off, the burnt rice was very crispy; it was almost like eating a ramen-soaked rice crispy treat.  It absorbed the flavor of the broth, and stood out strongly in my mind.

Would I Go Again?
I brought my friend here because it's among my favorite places in Osaka, and this visit has only solidified that further.  I see more lunchtime spice challenges in my future.

Should You Go?
It's among the best tantanmen I've had, and easily the best tantan tsukemen, so this is not a place to be missed as long as you can handle a little bit of spice.


  1. I ventured out on a rainy day to try Goma Goma, based on your recommendation!
    Was surprised that there were only six customers at a time at the counter. I had to wait about 10 minutes outside, but it was well worth it.

    A delicious meal ensued and I had the White Broth Level 5 and it was delightful.

    Great Recommendation.

  2. Thanks for the comment! I'm glad you liked it. Still one of my favorites in Osaka!