There’s nothing like a big bowl of steaming hot ramen (ラーメン). Especially on a samui (寒い: cold) winter’s day.
But add to that a bowl of gohan (ご飯: boiled rice) and some gyōza (餃子) and you’ve got me hooked.
I found a great ramen place last time I was in Tōkyō, near Ebisu.
And there seems to be several here in Ōsaka bearing the same name. So I’m expecting it to be equally good.
As I take my seat at a bench opposite the open-plan kitchen, jazz plays in the background. Some lively trumpet number.
Fortunately, the place isn’t crowded which means I don’t feel the usual pressure to eat quickly.
One reason for the success of ramen joints is not only the low cost of supplying noodle soup but also the quick turnover in customers.
The practice of slurping the soup as you eat is definitely alive-and-well in Japan. I suppose it enhances the flavour. And possibly helps in cooling the temperature of the broth.
It’s also handy that iced-tea is made available in jugs on your table.
My ramen includes some roasted pork fillet (チャーシュー), spring onions (ねぎ), and mushrooms (きくらげ).
There are a range of condiments that can be added: garlic, sesame seeds, pickles & soya sauce.
And some chilli flavoured bean sprouts to whet the appetite.
But I like to keep it simple.
My ramen is everything I hope for. Yet there’s such a wide variety of ramen shops I will keep doing the rounds. If for no other reason than to compare the different styles.