Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ramen Tatsu

Ramen Tatsu is a shop that had been on my list for a while. At the end of 2012 it sprung up as another fish-based ramen shop, and it looked interesting. I even headed over to Uehonmachi to pay it a visit, only to find it was closed for no reason. But here I am, back again in Uehonmachi, and it's time to finally try it. They offered the Tatsu ramen and the "Goku", super, Tatsu ramen. I went with the Goku.


The Bowl
What an interesting bowl. The broth was clear, which normally makes me think of a light, shio ramen, but it was instead a thick, gyokai tonkotsu soup. It was a really good balance of meaty and fishy; similar to some of my favorite places, but leaning more towards the fish end. The noodles were thin and soft; they stuck together, making them easy to eat in clumps. The chashu was barbecued right in front of me with a blowtorch, and tasted as good as it looked.


Would I Go Again?
Yeah, this place was great.


Should You Go?
Yes, Tatsu helps round out a weirdly delicious Uehonmachi.


らー麺 達

Monday, February 24, 2014


New location alert! Not just any new shop, but a new branch of Showacho's famous Saisai. And right in Namba, too. Too good of an opportunity, I checked it out just over a week after it opened. Torn between the shio and shoyu ramen, in standard or white chicken "paichin" form, I followed the advice of the employee and went with the paichin shio ramen.


The Bowl
When I talk about a bowl of shio ramen, this is not what I think of. The broth was cloudy, meaty, giving a rich unfiltered taste of chicken. The noodles were medium, round and firm. On top was some extra crunchy menma, and fatty chashu. A heavy bowl that weighed me down in the end - not what I would think from a normal shio.


Would I Go Again?
It was good, but next time I'd try one of the other combinations.


Should You Go?
Saisai is in a southern part of Namba without much competition. Which makes Saisai the best in that area.



Friday, February 21, 2014

Onomichi Ramen Gekko Kamen

For a food blogger, there are few things that can cause a major crisis. Restaurant you were expecting to go to closed? I've been there. Favorite restaurant shut down? Par for the course. Confused about what to get? That's what life is all about.

The one thing I cannot get past is my camera running out of batteries just as I approach a shop. It was dinner and I was hungry, and though I seriously considered turning around and heading home, I forced myself to enter the shop and use my low resolution phone camera. I'm not even talking about a nice iPhone or Android camera; this was the camera on a phone most people stopped using five years ago, at latest.

I considered going back again to Gekko Kamen to eat another bowl and take a better photo, but alas, as you'll learn later, the ramen was just not good enough. So enjoy an Osakan's take on Onomichi ramen, in low, low definition.




The Bowl
The broth was shoyu, with tons of globules of pork fat, similar to the Onomichi ramen I had in its hometown. However, unlike those shops, this ramen wasn't sweet, but was dark and very salty. The noodles were long and flat; they weren't great but helped cut the salt from the soup a bit. The chashu proved the best part; juicy and fatty.


Would I Go Again?
I still have too fond memories of the real Onomichi ramen to try this again.


Should You Go?


尾道らーめん 月光仮面

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Recently, a couple of chefs from Osaka sardine ramen chain Tamagoro opened up shops in the illustrious if slightly hidden Osaka Ekimae buildings. I reviewed one of them, Rokubei not long ago, and finally I had a chance to go to its cousin Uonosuke. Not straying too far away from its ancestor Tamagoro, Uonusuke's recommended ramen is the super sardine ramen, which is what I ordered.


The Bowl
Just like Rokubei laid on the bonito heavily, Uonusuke was all about the sardine. The broth was clear and drinkable, and the fish taste was strong. The noodles were curly and uneven, like handmade ones, and were of the right quality to match the soup. Even the toppings, which included a large slice of chashu, super-thick menma, and a wonton skin had the powerful taste of sardines to them.


Would I Go Again?
Maybe, it was pretty good.


Should You Go?
If you're a fan of fishy ramen, this is your place.


ど煮干らーめん 魚之助

Monday, February 17, 2014


A chance to return home! I love Japan, and I'm not unhappy to be here after this long, but I do like visiting home too. Whenever I go on a long flight, I make sure to fill myself up before hand, because there's nothing worse than being starving on an airplane. Luckily for me, Kansai Airport has a branch of Osaka shio ramen chain Ryukishin. I've visited various branches of Ryukishin before, and they were pretty good, so I decided to try their airport shop.


The Bowl
The broth was a solid, light, salty shio. The flavor was made more interesting by the pile of onions that was added to it. The noodles were thin and went down easy. A light and refreshing bowl; perhaps not to the standards of the other branches I've been to, but good enough to hold me over and not give me a stomachache on a long flight.


Would I Go Again?
I'd consider stopping by next time I'm hungry on my way out of town.


Should You Go?
If you're in the airport, it's a good option.



Saturday, February 15, 2014

Miyazaki Kyodo Ryori Dogyan

When looking online for a good shop to go to, I stumbled upon Miyazaki Kyodo Ryori Dogyan. Some places listed it as a ramen shop, some as an izakaya, but all praised its ramen. So I went to have a look. It turned out to be more of an izakaya, albeit one that serves ramen, similar to the other shop I went to recently, Danieru no Baai. I didn't bring any friends this time, so I ordered only their specialty ramen, Takaida-kei chuka soba. Of course, as a table charge, I received a small dish of horumon, or various innards.


Nothing like delicious offal
The Bowl
As expected of Takaida-kei shoyu ramen, the broth was dark, and deep. Thankfully, though, it was less salty than other incarnations, which meant I could easily drink it all. The noodles, too, were pretty good; thick, and firm. There was one giant piece of chashu, but it didn't stand out much.


Would I Go Again?
Yeah, I'd like to try some of their other food, too.


Should You Go?
It's a good place to go with friends in Honmachi.


宮崎郷土料理 どぎゃん

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


You can tell that I'm feeling lazy on a day if I go to a shop on Dotonbori during the daytime. Today's shop, Tekkamen, is a bit farther down than the main cluster of shops, closer to Nipponbashi Station. It wasn't a particularly special shop either, kind of your normal serve-every-style generic shop. And when you give me a choice between any style, I choose miso.


The Bowl
The meal was served in a large clay bowl to keep in the heat for as long as possible. And hot it was, a thin miso filled with sesame seeds. The noodles were fat and curly, and tasted strangely like menma. Nothing compared to my favorite miso shops, but certainly worthy of a generic shop like this one.


Would I Go Again?
It was fine, but not amazing. I won't be back.


Should You Go?
Maybe if you're drunk in Namba.



Monday, February 10, 2014


I was hungry and looking for ramen shops in the Namba area I haven't been to. I eat in Namba often, so I have a pretty good handle on what shops are around, but every once in a while I notice one that has somehow slipped under my radar. This time, it was Tokio Sazae, a spicy lobster miso ramen shop located right in the middle of Nipponbashi's otaku paradise, Denden Town. How I missed such a place is beyond me, but I was pretty excited to check it out.

Tokio Sazae's main dish is the lobster ramen. Although it's ramen, it comes with some spicy sauce on top and on the side, meant to be mixed in like abura soba. Also a side of a bread, because, why not?

お腹がすいてミナミに行ったことないラーメン屋さんを探しました。よくミナミで食べるので、ほとんどの見せ知っていますけど、たまに気づいていない店が出てきます。今回はTOKIO SAZAEという辛いオマール海老味噌ラーメンがメインの店を見つけました。どうやって今まで知らなかったのがなぞです。

TOKIO SAZAEの名物はオマール海老ラーメンでした。ラーメンなんですけど、油そばっぽくソースが付いて、食べる前に混ぜるべきです。それに、おまけのパンも出てきました。

Pre-mixed lobster ramen
Extra sauce and garlic
Bonus bread
The Bowl
Furthermore likening the ramen to abura soba, the broth was more like a sauce than a soup. It had a strong lobster taste, backed up by miso. It was pretty good on its own, but it became more and more spicy and delicious as I mixed in more sauce. The noodles were fat; good for a saucy broth like this one. The bread was a strange addition, but it went well with the rich flavors of the lobster concoction. Spicy, weird, and delicious.


Would I Go Again?
I would have, but it's closed at time of writing.


Should You Go?
If it was still open.



Saturday, February 8, 2014


I was walking home one day and decided to swing by a beer bar I like, Dig Beer Bar. As I was walking, though, I noticed an interesting looking ramen shop. Without taking too much time to think about it, in I went. They offered a variety of gyokai shoyu and shio bowls; I went with the gyokai shio.

ある日に歩いて帰って、好きな地ビールバーdig beer baRを寄りました。その辺にあるラーメン屋さんに気づいて、パッと入ってしまいました。いろいろな魚介系塩と醤油ラーメンがありました。私は魚介塩にしました。

The Bowl
Like any good shio, the ramen was light and easy to drink, but this one was very fishy with a bit of onion flavoring the soup too. The thin, yellow noodles, too, tasted very fishy after being soaked in the broth. The bowl was rounded out by a strange shark-tooth looking piece of menma, and a couple juicy slices of chashu.


Would I Go Again?
Yeah, it was good and I'd like to try some of the other menu items.


Should You Go?
It's a great place if you're in the Higobashi area.



Thursday, February 6, 2014

KAMOSHI Mitsukabozu

Osaka has a dearth of miso ramen shops. The most famous one, by far, is Mitsukabozu in Toyonaka. It's a place I keep meaning to go, but since it's so out of the way, I've never made it yet. My friend alerted me that they opened up their second branch in Umeda. The next day I showed up. The Umeda branch was still new, so their entire menu wasn't ready yet. But what was, was their interesting vegetable miso ramen.


The Bowl
The soup was light, but thick. It tasted like a vegetable potage, which is similar to other styles I've had before, but nothing I'd expect from a bowl of miso. The noodles were piping hot, and wrapped around the various vegetables; potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, and lima beans all could be found inside the rich soup. Just to make it a bit meaty, there was a piece of thick chashu thrown in for good measure. A strange bowl, but a good one.


Would I Go Again?
Yes, it was great, and I want more miso.


Should You Go?


みつか坊主 醸

Monday, February 3, 2014


One of the high ranked shoyu places in Osaka is in a place I've been to recently, the Osaka Ekimae buildings. I've wanted to go to Roran before, and have even came this way and searched for it. By now, though, my understanding of the underground complex of Osaka Ekimae buildings has increased a lot, and I had no trouble finding it. They had a seasonal miso available, which was tempting, but I had to stick with the classic shoyu.


The Bowl
The broth had everything about it of a standard shoyu; smooth, and salty, but not overly so. The kind of soup that even when you're full you could still keep drinking. The medium noodles picked up the soup well, and while the chashu wasn't stellar, the full creamy egg went down just as easily as the broth.


Would I Go Again?
Yeah, this place was good, and I'm curious about their seasonal soups too.


Should You Go?
Yes; it might be the best shoyu in Umeda.


麺屋 楼蘭