Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Despite the fact that I had a filling bowl of tsukemen earlier in the day, I found myself in Osaka at night and hungry. It was pretty late, and although usually I would prefer takoyaki at times like this, there was a new hot late night ramen shop I wanted to try.

Shi43ya (pronounced Shijimiya) is named after shijimi, a shellfish featured in their main shijimi shio ramen.  It's hidden in an alley by a bunch of bars, so it's hard to notice. I was tempted to go for the shijimi miso ramen, but for my first time I had to stick with the classic shio.



The Bowl
This was shio ramen at its simplest, yet with the unusual twist of a bunch of clams thrown into the mix. The broth itself very light, salty, and clear; kind of like a thin clam soup, as opposed to some of the richer shios I've had before. I would generally prefer something a bit deeper, but for late night post (or mid) drinking, the simple soup, chewy noodles, and clams are a refreshing way to hopefully keep that hangover away.


Would I Go Again?
Yeah maybe, if the conditions were just right.


Should You Go?
If you like late night shio, this place is for you.



Monday, October 13, 2014

Tsukemen Man

As a continuation of cherry blossom season, I took an all-too-rare visit to Kyoto to go to another hanami event. With an opportunity like that, though, I decided I needed to stop and get a bowl of ramen on my way there. Nearby Demachiyanagi there's not a ton of shops; but there is one I've had my eye on: Tsukemen Man. They embraced their name and offered up a specially made rich gyokai tonkotsu tsukemen.


The Bowl
The broth was a mostly by-the-numbers thick gyokai mix; though it was a bit too rich and salty. The noodles made up for that as they were thick and shiny, easy to pick up yet resilient enough to take in a lot of soup and add a light egg flavor of their own. The chashu was good, though like the soup too, a bit salty, and over time it became harder to finish the bowl.


Would I Go Again?
I'll try another place in Kyoto next time I'm there.


Should You Go?
If you want some tuskemen in Demachiyanagi, otherwise go somewhere else.



Sunday, October 5, 2014

Mensho Keiji

Spring is the time for cherry blossoms. Everyone in Japan loosens up, grabs some beer or umeshu at a convenience store, and brings it to the park to sit under the trees and relax. The only thing more enjoyable than this, is making sure you have a full stomach to take it all in. With that in mind my friend and I headed to Menya Keiji, a shop by Osaka Business Park, not far from Osaka Castle.

Menya Keiji had a variety of tonkotsu and gyokai tonkotsu bowls; they ranked them by their popularity among guys and girls. The gyokai tonkotsu ramen looked the most interesting to me, so I ordered that one, which was the #1 ramen picked by girls.



The complimentary appetizer
The Bowl
The broth started out as a good mix of deep tonkotsu flavors and a balancing gyokai soup. It was a good combination that's seen much more often in tsukemen, so I was happy to have this in ramen, even if the thick, wavy noodles would have been more suited to a thick tsukemen broth. The main issue creating a ceiling for this ramen, though, was the salt content. What started out as a tinge of salt underneath the double soup slowly crept up and by the end prevented me from drinking any more of the broth. I'm glad I was on my way to get some drinks afterwards, because it was tough to wash my mouth out of all that sodium.


Would I Go Again?
I don't plan on it.


Should You Go?
It's alright, and it's one of the only shops in the area, so it's passable if you're at Osaka Business Park.


麺匠 慶次