Tuesday, February 28, 2017

When in Japan: Ichiran (Best Ramen Ever)

Why do we always love the things bad for us? I am not talking about drugs or anything illegal. One of my addictions is ramen. The sodium in a bowl gloomy weather must have is one of my top 5 favorite dishes and a trip to Japan is nothing without indulging in a bowl or two. And so when R and I spotted a ramen shop with a long queue outside, we just have to line up and find out why locals (and tourists) line up for it. 

Hello, Ichiran!
I have read about Ichiran online and all articles say that it is one of the best ramen joints in Japan. Knowing this made me so excited to order a bowl. I asked R to share a bowl with me since I wasn’t that hungry but he was; so we decided to go with one bowl each. And it was a good thing we did as sharing was not allowed. 
Before entering the dining area, we had to line up to place our order from the ramen vending machine. There was only one type of ramen with a handful of add ons to choose from. You could also adjust the richness of the broth based on your preference. I went with no spice with a lot of spring onions, a bit garlicky, firm noodles and with rich broth. R went with the same but with mild spice. A bowl cost about JYP800-1000. The machine also takes our payment in return of food stubs which we have to give the servers inside. 
I was surprised that the dining area inside was the Japanese individual dining booth type. I have been dying to dine in one for the longest time! (No wonder sharing was not allowed.) R and I managed to get seats beside each other. Yay! <3
While waiting for our ramen, our shelled tamago (egg) was served. We were still dazed from the experience that we didn’t think of removing the shell while waiting. 
Our ramen arrived next and it came in a rectangular ceramic bowl with lid. Upon lifting the lid, the ramen looked very simple yet unexplainably mouthwatering. 
R and I hurriedly removed the shell off our eggs and dipped it in the warm broth and had a big spoonful. 
It was delectable! The broth was rich but not cloying. It was spot on. It was the best ramen I’ve had to date. 
The noodles were thin and very firm, just the way I like it. The chashu was tender and flavorful too. The spring onions added crunch to the dish and the garlic taste made the dish so addicting. 
And the egg was great too! Everything was simply delightful. 
I regret not buying Ichiran’s instant noodles and other merchandise. I will definitely buy a few packs when I get a chance to visit again. 
Ichiran is located in Canal City, Hakata, B1 1-2-22 Sumiyoshi Hakata-ku Fukuoka-shi Fukuoka-ken 812-0018. For a complete list of branches, click here.

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