Ramen is the greatest invention of humanity and an ideal dish. Filling and delicious, with a wealth of ingredients. I take this subject very seriously. I am a severe critic if it comes to ramen, I appreciate the taste of broth, pasta and each additive. Over the steaming bowl of ramen, I feel like a culinary critic 🙂 Ramen is a popular dish practically all over the world, but in my opinion the best ramen can be eaten only in Japan, where there are thousands of ramen shops.
My adventure with ramen began on a hot May day. It was Sunday. I remember like it was yesterday. We came to Harajuku in Tokyo, because in the morning every Sunday there was a parade of young, original people. They wear costumes in the style of Kawaii, lolita, gothic lolita, decora and many more. They met on the Jingu Bashi bridge, where they posed for photos. Harajuku is their capital. Unfortunately, it turned out that this tradition was forbidden and the parade isn’t organize any more. Fortunately, there is the Meiji Jingu Shrine, which was still in our plans. A long walk and a visit to the shrine sharpened our appetites. We did not have any specific plan, so we looked around, searching for a place that will fall into our eye. And there it is! A crowd of people in front of the entrance, colorful flages. It’s ramen. We go inside!
Kyushu Jangara has been operating on the market for 30 years, it is the first restaurant that showed Tokyo people Tonkotsu Ramen. In Tokyo there are 7 locations in the most popular districts like Akihabara, Harajuku or Ikebukuro. It’s very crowded and loud inside, it seems like there’s chaos, but it really works like clockwork. Employees loudly and in short, soldierly words give orders. It’s characteristic of many Japanese restaurants. Customers can watch their work.
The menu is huge. Kyushi Jangara specializes in tonkotsu, which comes from Hakata. The dashi is boiled over a dozen or so hours on pork and chicken bones, but there is also available ramen versions seafood stock or for vegetarians. So it is a place for everyone. Each version has several additional options that differ in the number of components. The choice is not easy, but we have a long queue ahead of us, so we have time to think about it. We choose ramen with almost everything. With a marinated in soy sauce soft boiled egg, Kakiniku which is marinated pork belly, vegetables and mentaiko, which is marinated roe. I would not be myself if I did not choose the super-hot version of ramen…
It was the best culinary experience in my life. The first meeting with ramen and already a perfect bowl of soup! What a luck! Strong, aromatic dashi with many spices. A perfectly cooked egg with slightly melting yolk. Crumbling in the mouth, delicate pork belly and crunchy vegetables. Umami and the richness of flavors can be felt in each spoonful of ramen. I could eat it everyday and never get bored. Unfortunately, this is not possible, I live several thousand kilometers from this wonderful place. God! Why?!
When the next year we again planned our trip to Japan, Kyushu Jangara was at first place on my list. I had to go back and feel this taste again. People tends to idealize the experiences of the past, also when it comes to flavors and often experiences disappointment when it turns out that it was not so perfect. That was not the case this time. The second bowl of ramen in Kyushu Jangara was even better! Eating the perfect ramen is a great happiness … but also very sad. After this experience, no bowl of ramen could match with this in Kyushu Jangara. I went to different places, I was looking for this taste. In Poland, in Budapest, in London. I could not find a substitute anywhere. So I have to go back to Tokyo again. Even for one day, eat ramen tonkotsu and come back. I would give everything for it. My mouth is watering already… I’m going to eat something …
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