Tuesday, November 1, 2011


One of the classic ramen chains, and also one of the first good shops I learned about is Ichiran.  Like Ippudo, it is a tonkotsu ramen chain, based in Fukuoka.  I had already been to Fukuoka a couple of months earlier, but I love Ichiran, and I was with a friend who had never been there.

Each branch of Ichiran has a similar layout: a series of narrow hallways with counters, but with little wall segments at each seat that prevent you from seeing your neighbors and the employees.  If you dare go to Ichiran with a friend, they can remove the blocker between just the two of you, so you can enjoy your meal together without having to bear the sight of anyone else.  You can also customize a number of parts of the bowl, such as the amount of garlic, the richness of the broth, or the spiciness.  Of course I went with rich broth, a little bit of extra garlic, and two times spiciness.

Ōsaka-fu Ōsaka-shi Chūō-ku Souemonchō7−18
This branch, sadly the only branch of Ichiran in Osaka, is located on the north side of the Dotonbori river, just east of Don Quixote.

The Bowl
As expected Ichiran delivered a salty, fatty, and oily but drinkable tonkotsu bowl.  The extra onions and spice added really shined through and made me love an already delicious bowl more.  The noodles were thin and hard in Fukuoka tonkotsu style, and it wasn't without a good helping of some thin slices of chashu.

Would I Go Again?
I love Ichiran.  The debate will go on forever, and as many others I think I like Ippudo more, but I'm sure I'll be back to both.

Should You Go?
Absolutely, it's great.  There's no way to know which you like better between Ippudo and Ichiran unless you go to both at least once!

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