Saturday, April 21, 2012


I read about Saisai in Ramen Walker a while ago, and it had been on my list since.  They specialize in miso ramen, and since they've changed locations, have also offered a miso tsukemen and chicken paitan ramen.  I love miso and don't have a chance to go to many shops in Osaka that specialize in it, so I was excited to visit Saisai.  Unfortunately, Saisai is open only on weekdays and Saturday during the afternoon, which meant the only time I could actually go was on a Saturday, which meant planning ahead or waking up early.  This lucky Saturday came along, I biked over there, and got in.

I debated ordering the tsukemen or paitan ramen, but I couldn't stop myself from going for the spicy miso ramen.

麺屋 彩々
1-46-8 Hannanchō

The Bowl
A wide bowl full of miso ramen, pork, noodles, sprouts, onions, and an egg, all covered in chili pepper.   Not a bad way to start a weekend.  The miso was pretty good; it was rich, and had a tinge of spiciness from the pepper.  The noodles were medium and firm, and the chashu was one big slice that was pretty chewy.

Would I Go Again?
Overall Saisai offered a standard miso bowl; it was good but not amazing, and I prefer Ramen 3738 to it.  If I come back, I'll try the chicken.

Should You Go?
It's solid, and miso is hard to find in Osaka, so check it out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


When I first moved to Osaka, I did a lot of walking around.  Everything was new to me then, so I just ambled around randomly discovering whatever I could.  One day I walked by a shop that sold a number of curry dishes, including curry udon and duck curry tsukemen, and I knew I had to go there.

I forgot about it for a while, and then a few weeks ago, while looking for a bar in the same area, stumbled across this shop.  I tried to go here one day after work, but it was closed for some reason.  I double checked the hours, and tried again, this time with success.

Miyagimiya is a veritable curry paradise, with curry udon to curry tsukemen to curry nabe.  I want to try all of them, but this time I stuck with the duck curry tsukemen.  Maybe next time I'll bring a couple people for a curry feast.

カレー鍋居酒屋 宮がみ屋
4-10-21 Minamisenba

The Bowl
The broth was a thin and light curry, with a taste that reminded me of fried onions.  It was very reminiscent to a similar bowl at Tsuboya, but with less fishy taste.  The noodles were very long and springy, different from most noodles I've had with ramen or tsukemen.  The duck was chewy, but not all that flavorful, and the egg was standard.  There were also onions and some kind of citrus fruit in the broth.  In the end I asked for the wari-soup, which mostly watered down the already-light broth, but had a bit of saltiness to it too.

Would I Go Again?
The tsukemen wasn't amazing, but I'm curious about the curry nabe.

Should You Go?
Don't go for the tsukemen.  The other dishes looked pretty good, though.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Osaka is far from the biggest ramen hub in Japan, but it's still the third biggest city, and as such, has its fair share of ramen staples.  Kamukura, Kinryuu, and Kotan are all chains you can find around Osaka's most active neighborhoods, and are open late, if they close at all.  But the most omnipresent chain ramen shop in Osaka is Shitenno, a shop that there's so many of that it's almost impossible to not run into one or two in a walk across the city.

Since Shitenno is everywhere, I had never got around to trying it.  But it was finally the beginning of April, which meant hanami season, and thus long days and late nights drinking.  It got to the end of the night, and my friend and I were hungry.  He's an Osaka native, so he's had Kinryuu more times than he can count, but he prefers Shitenno so we went there.

As a major chain, Shitenno offers any kind of ramen you might want.  I'm a sucker for miso ramen, so that's what I went with.

1-7-25 Dōtonbori
Shitenno is right on Dotonbori, next to all the other ramen shops.

The Bowl
The broth was a fairly simple tonkotsu, with a bit of miso in it.  The miso wasn't anything special, but it made the bowl a bit more syrupy, and just a little bit spicy.  The noodles were medium-thin, and fairly chewy.  The chashu was just one big thin slice, a bit fatty, and actually pretty good.

Would I Go Again?
Overall Shitenno offered a standard bowl, but a bit better than I was expecting.  I'm not in a rush to revisit, but since Shitenno is all over Osaka, I'm sure I'll find myself back.

Should You Go?
It's somewhat of an Osakan staple, but the ramen isn't quite good enough to demand a visit.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tachiki Ramen

After a long walk home where I attempted to go to several shops all of which were closed, I decided it was finally time to try the oft-neglected local ramen shop close to where I live.  I've passed Tachiki Ramen all the time, but never felt like going in.  It's a small place that's never packed, and has a huge menu with tons of different types of ramen.  The sign outside advertises their banmen, a kind of ramen I'd never heard of which the owner told me is soup-less, like abura soba.  But I saw curry ramen on the menu and couldn't help myself.

Ōsaka-fu, Ōsaka-shi, Naniwa-ku, Motomachi, 2丁目8−11
Tachiki Ramen is on the west side of Midosuji north of Daikokucho Station.

The Bowl
The problem with small places that offer up every single kind of ramen is that it means they specialize in none of them.  The curry ramen was some watered down curry broth mixed with the stock noodles.  The broth was piping hot, and extremely salty.  The noodles were pretty thin and stuck together.  The egg was also really salty, and the meat, which I wasn't sure if it was beef or pork, was mediocre.

Would I Go Again?
The curry ramen was not surprisingly underwhelming, but on the other hand it was really cheap.  I'm genuinely curious about the banmen, so if I do go back, I'll be getting that.

Should You Go?
No, this is just a random local shop; there are probably similar better places near wherever you live.