Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ramen Ukaan

A lot of Osaka's ramen is centered around Umeda or Namba.  Today I was lucky enough to find one in Horie, a posh area that is really convenient for me.  Ukaan is advertised in Ramen Walker for its shio ramen, but they also offer a miso-based tantanmen and miso tsukemen.  I love both of those things, so it was a trial forcing myself to order the shio.

らーめん 羽化庵

The Bowl
The soup was a light, refreshing shio with a slight chicken flavor.  It was like drinking a light chicken soup.  The noodles were thin and soft.  They clumped together, making it easy to eat piles of them at once.  The egg and menma were both pretty solid, and the chashu, while a little dry, was very flavorful.

Would I Go Again?
The shio was pretty good on its own, and I want to try the miso, so I will be back.

Should You Go?
Yes, if you can make the trek a couple stations west of Shinsaibashi.

Friday, August 24, 2012


Once upon a time, I was new to Japan.  I knew the wonders of ramen from living in San Francisco, and as a newcomer to Tokyo, tried to eat it as much as I could.  I had heard of tsukemen, but it seemed crazy.  Why separate the noodles if you're just going to dip them anyway?  Why get the noodles cold?

A friend dragged me along to Yasube in Ikebukuro, and my questions were answered.  Sweet and spicy, this was my first bowl of tsukemen, and also the one that got me hooked.  Cut to August this year, and I discovered that the first Yasube outside of Tokyo was opened, and in my very own Osaka no less.

Link here
2-4-4 Shinsaibashisuji

The Bowl
Light, sweet, oniony, and with a little bit of spice to it, like I remembered.  The noodles were fat and spongy, and the menma went very well with the sweet broth.  The chashu was very light but tender.  The wari-soup heated up the broth and tasted a bit fruity - a good finisher for a good meal.

Would I Go Again?
It's a solid tsukemen, and they have a miso on the menu I'm curious about, so yes.

Should You Go?
It's a Tokyo classic.  Check it out.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Nothing beats a bowl of ramen on a hot summer day.  Barely being able to stand the heat and humidity of the outdoors, I chose to go to a place close to home.  I just discovered a section on the Ramen Walker website that lists new shops, and one of the more recent ones was Gyukotsuo.

In Nipponbashi, there is a shop called Ramen Gekijo, or ramen theater, where every three months, a new interesting shop is debuted.  The summer's specialty was a beef bone-flavored soup.  But in addition to that, they also offer a ramen battle, where the ramen from the current shop faces off against a bowl made by the head of Ramen Gekijo.  I ordered a set that came with a mini-bowl of each.  Gyukotsu vs Tonkotsu: who would win?

拉麺劇場 人情麺家 牛骨王
4-10-9 Nipponbashi

The Bowl
This was a serious tonkotsu bowl.  The broth was very rich and delicious, and the noodles were nice and chewy.  There were onions, kikurage mushrooms, sprouts, and an egg.  The chashu was a highlight; tender and very juicy.

The broth was a pretty solid shoyu; not that salty and easy to drink.  There were pieces of beef tendon in the soup that were sweet and tender.  After sitting in the soup for long enough, the soup started to taste a bit like them too.  The noodles were alright, an dother toppings included onions, radish, and an egg.

Both were good, and though the gyukotsu bowl was more interesting and distinct, I enjoyed the tonkotsu one more, and cast my vote for that one.  In the end, the real winner was me, for being able to try both.

Would I Go Again?
This place was pretty good; I'll definitely be back in three months, and would even consider going back sooner.  There was some kind of beef tsukemen on the menu...

Should You Go?
Yeah, this place is good and interesting.