Friday, August 26, 2011


It way day two of my friend's visit which meant another chance to get ramen.  I had been to Rokusanroku once before and it was pretty good, and we were in the area.  Last time I had ordered the ramen, but this time I went for the tokusei tsukemen.


Ōsaka-fu Ōsaka-shi Kita-ku Komatsubarachō 4−29
Rokusanroku is in a maze of alleys right behind the HEP buildings in Umeda.

The Bowl
This was a reasonably well done gyokai tonkotsu, which is OK by me.  The broth was nice and thick and the noodles fat and chewy.  The menma were thicker than usual, and tasted pretty good.  The chashu was pretty thick, but not as good as some of the other places I've reviewed.  On the side was a spicy habanero sauce tasted good and had quite a kick.

Would I Go Again?
I don't see myself venturing here often, but I think I'll find my way back since they have a large menu and it's in a pretty central area.

Should You Go?
It's a classic gyokai tonkotsu and in a good location, so I would definitely recommend it.  It's similar to though probably a little better than Monjiro.

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.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Kuroshio Ramen Takara

It was a rainy Saturday and I didn't feel like going far.  But still, I wanted curry or something spicy.  A bit of searching on ramendb and tabelog came up with Takara.  Supposedly they had a seasonal curry tsukemen, which is like two great dishes in one.  I trekked over, and while sadly they were not serving the curry tsukemen, they at least had a tantan tsukemen to appease me.

黒潮ラーメン 寶
Takara is right on Dotonbori, on the west side of one of the major north-south arcades.

The Bowl
The broth was fairly thick; something I wouldn't expect from normal tantanmen, but I would from tsukemen.  It seemed like it was a normal gyokai tonkotsu soup, with an additional tantan flavor added to it.  The broth was quite nutty and spicy, but not overpoweringly so.  The noodles were medium sized, but went well with the soup, and tasted pretty good with the lemon squeezed over them, too.

Would I Go Again?
This didn't blow my mind, but it was a very solid bowl.  It will never take the tantan tsukemen crown from my beloved Goma Goma, but I would come back if I were itching for tantanmen in Minami, or to try their curry tsukemen.

Should You Go?
If you're looking for the best tantan tsukemen, go to Goma Goma in Umeda.  This is still a pretty good number two if you can't make it there.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


It was a Saturday, and I woke up too late to go anywhere far.  These are the best days to go on a long walk with a bowl of ramen as the goal.  A look in Ramen Walker told me that there was a gyokai tonkotsu (seafood/pork bone) tsukemen place near Fukushima Station.  I hadn't been in that area since I moved here, and I hadn't had a good gyokai tonkotsu bowl for a while, so I decided to check it out.

The shop had both a spicy version and a normal version.  As always I was tempted to go for the spicy one, but an employee there convinced me to go for the normal.  I went for the tokusei tsukemen, which is regular tsukemen with extra toppings.

Ōsaka-fu Ōsaka-shi Fukushima-ku Fukushima 1丁目6−4
Monjiro is a bit south of Fukushima station, in an alley just east of the big Eneos.

This one happened to come with tamago-don which I didn't expect.  Bonus!

The Bowl
It was a very classic gyokai tonkotsu.  I love all gyokai tonkotsu and this bowl was no exception.  The soup was a little thin, which isn't ideal for the noodles, but it actually made it really easy to drink at the end.  The soup on its own was so good that I only put a little bit of wari-soup at the end.  The noodles were fairly thick.  The regular doesn't come with that many, but with the toppings, soup, and tamago-don, I was pretty stuffed afterwards.  Already in the broth were strips of pork, which were thick, juicy, and flavorful.  The pieces you see that I dipped myself were also pretty rich, but not quite as good as the ones in the broth.  The egg was made just perfectly so that the yolk was a delicious jelly that absorbed the flavor of the soup well.

Would I Go Again?
This was a very solid gyokai tonkotsu bowl.  It didn't do anything I hadn't seen before, and it's not as good as the best versions I've had, but everything worked well and the toppings especially were great.  I would definitely come back here if I was in the area or hankering for a good gyokai tonkotsu, and I'm especially curious to try the spicy version.

Should You Go?
If you're in Osaka and looking for gyokai tonkotsu tsukemen, here's your place.  If you're from Tokyo where gyokai tonkotsu tsukemen shops grow on trees, you can probably pass on this one.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


I had just finished work and was pretty hungry.  I had never been to Shugetsu, which I discovered in Ramen Walker, and my friend independently ran into while touring the city.  I knew it was walking distance from home, and the decision was made.

I walked through a dead Kuromon market and arrived at the restaurant, which was also pretty empty.  I decided to go for the tsukesoba with an egg.

Ōsaka-fu Ōsaka-shi Chūō-ku Nipponbashi 2丁目10−4
Shugetsu is on the same street as Kuromon Market, a bit south.

The Bowl
The broth was the weakest part of the tsukemen, which is kind of a big deal since it's also the most important part.  The flavor was pretty good and a maybe a little fishy, but it was way too salty.  As someone who eats ramen often I don't mind salt in general, but this was a bit too much, and made it hard to get through all the soup.  The noodles were thick and pretty chewy.  The chashu was split into strips and thick slices.  The strips were very fatty, but both were quite good.  They were easily the highlight of the meal.

Would I Go Again?
I wasn't too impressed with the tsukemen, though I really liked the chashu.  Their other main dish is their abura soba, so I'm a little curious about that, but with so many other places in the area I don't think I'll head back any time soon.  If I went again, I would probably go on a Wednesday night, when they turn into an alternate restaurant.

Should You Go?
If you're in the greater Nanba or Nipponbashi area, there are better bowls to be had.  If you're craving something really salty and want some of their delicious chashu, Shugetsu may be what you're looking for.