Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ramen Derby

In November, there was a strange event in the outskirts of Kyoto. The Ramen Derby: a combination celebration of horse racing and ramen at the Yodo racetrack. I had never been to a racetrack in Japan, so I was quite curious. Oh yeah, and the ramen too.


For my first shop I chose the Next Generation Miso Ramen from Men 556, a collaboration of shop owners who were all born in Showa 55, or 1980. A strange theme, but I'll bite.


Representatives from Menya Noroma, Fukuryu Ramen Wadachi, Menya Taku, Menya Gaten, Torita Seimen Shokudo, Menya Buta Kong, and Ebisumaru made this bowl possible.

麺556のメンバーは麺屋NOROMA / ふく流ラーメン轍麺や拓麺屋ガテン / 島田製麺食堂(必死のパッチ製麺所) / 麺やぶたコング / えびす丸です。

The Bowl
This really was a bowl from another generation. The miso base was good and standard enough, but it went haywire from there, in the best way. The rice krispies on top changed the texture of each bite, and the yuzu foam, not dissimilar to Wadachi's, added a citrus zest to the bowl. Put that together with the thick noodles and mound of ground pork and you have a winning meal.


My second bowl was another collaboration shop. Rasai, the organization that runs the yearly Kansai stamp rally had their own booth, where they offered up the Rasai Smile 003 Rich Pork Bone Beef Tendon Curry Soba.


This Rasai bowl was made by Shiogensui, Tsurumusha, Berashio Fukushi, Hanabusa, Omaeda, Shekarashika, Menya Hiro, Yumenchu, Yamasaki Men Jiro, Shihoda, Amaryu, and Menya Shiki.

らぁ際とは塩元帥 / 鶴武者 / べらしお福祉 / はなぶさ / 大前田 / しぇからしか / 麺屋裕 / 夢人 / 山崎麺二郎 / 四方田 / 尼龍 / 麺やしきです。

The Bowl
This was just a bowl of thick, well seasoned curry. I don't like when ramen shops make their curry too thin or too sweet, so I was happy to get some good curry with menma, corn, bunches of noodles, and smorgasbord of greens. There was just a bit of spice to it, and even though I was full from having two bowls, I couldn't help myself but finish all of it.



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