Friday, September 23, 2011

Toyama Black

Just a few hours after my trip to Kurume, I found myself in Fukuoka, wandering around and exploring the city.  I went into a mall not too far from the main station, Hakata station, Canal City.  Malls aren't the most exciting place to go while on vacation in another city, but I had read about a place called Raumen Stadium, and even though I was still full from Taiho, I wanted to take a look.

Now I know that I came all the way to Fukuoka, and if you've read the title of this post you'll recognize that what I ate for this meal was not Hakata tonkotsu ramen, but rather Toyama shoyu ramen.  I didn't think I was going to eat ramen twice in one day, but here I was with my friend at Ramen Stadium.  I couldn't stomach a full bowl of tonkotsu, but I was able to be convinced to go for a mini bowl of Toyama shoyu.

Fukuoka-ken Fukuoka-shi Hakata-ku Sumiyoshi 1丁目2−22
Toyama Black is located inside Canal City's Ramen Stadium.

The Bowl
I got a mini ramen, which is the classic Toyama black style.  The broth was, unsurprisingly, black.  It tasted strongly of soy sauce, and much richer than the kind you put on sushi.  It had a bit of a roasted edge to it; I had a hard time putting my finger on it, but it worked well with the soy sauce flavor. The noodles were medium sized and fairly generic; they weren't all that good, but they went decently with the broth.  The menma was very crunchy, and the chashu, although salty and not that tender, also did a good job of absorbing the soup.

Would I Go Again?
Toyama black was not my favorite ramen of the trip, but I've never had shoyu ramen quite this rich before.  The roasted flavor really stuck with me, and I would definitely go back for more.

Should You Go?
This is a ramen that's worth trying.  There are plenty of better bowls, and I wouldn't stop there if you're just briefly in Fukuoka, but there's quite a few of them in the country.  If you're looking for something a bit different, and especially if you like soy sauce, check it out.

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