Tag Archives: Ramen

Akashi Shokudo – (not just) a Bowl of Ramen

 

So here we go again. After many noodle meals in Okinawa already, Yasuko came up with one more “impossible to leave this island without sampling these noodles” restaurant.

It has won prices and is all over the social networks galaxy. A must. It opens at 11 in the morning and the queue easily grows to a one-hour game of patience. 

To avoid a queue and make sure to get on the first round, one recommends to get there half an hour before the opening time. So we were at 10:35 in front of this local, rather unexciting and non-descriptive noodle joint, beating all other noodle-crazy Japanese : ) Philippe secured the first seats outside this eating place and noted down our names at the top of the waiting list.  Yes!

While waiting, cars and mini-vans appeared from all directions into this tiny village with otherwise no attraction – a fascinating spectacle. After all theses years of visiting Japan, it is still amazing, heart warming and surprising to see how (good) food drives a nation…

At exactly 11:00 we were promptly ushered into a simply-decorated restaurant and we made our order which we could study to the details while waiting. There are only around five menu options : )

Philippe’s choice was Soki soba, an Okinawa speciality consisting of noodles with fatty pork cooked so long that the pork melts in the mouth. All of served in a fantastic pork broth. 

Yasuko ordered vegetable soba with salt soup base, which came with a mountain of cooked cabbage. 

The total bill for both of us was 14 USD. We did not linger in the place because we felt obligated to free up space for over 20 people waiting outside in the heat….

 

Ramen: Focus on Taste

We had a 30 minutes layover at the Fukuoka airport to take the connecting flight to Ishigaki – more than enough for a quick slurp of Yasuko’s favorite ramen style, tonkotsu. And as we are at an airport, the usual food service efficiency needs, bien évidemment , to be cranked up a notch or two.

It took precisely 4 minutes from “Yes I do” (want ramen) to the first slurp.

Just respectfully …

  • chose your version of ramen and pay for the voucher at the vending machine
  • move to your own private ramen booth
  • shout “sumimasen” (excuse me) to get the waiters attention
  • hand over the voucher with some extra instructions (for those in the know)
  • wait 2.5 minutes until that steaming bowl flies to you

And now, ladies and gentlemen, close your eyes, lower your heartbeat (oooohm), ignore any funny noises around you, overclock your taste buds and follow the second instruction on the ramen manual sticker on your left which reads: “Focus on Taste” 🇯🇵🍜

 

Going nuts over a bowl of ramen @ Ichiryuan

At 11h30 in the morning Yasuko and I think about lunch. It is cold this morning and a nice steaming bowl of noodle may warm us up. Ramen it shall be.

You think ramen is a portion of egg noodles, in a broth with some other stuff in it? Think again…

Ramen is an art form. Every ramen shop has its little secret, a special broth, the perfect noodle, refined toppings and all of it cooked with pride and perfect timing.

We decided to skip hundreds of other good lunch options and headed for that one place with excellent rating recommended by the front office staff, for “miso ramen” à la Hokkaido.

If a ramen restaurant is good, you have to queue. No queue, no good. So we waited patiently for half an hour, moving one waiting seat to the left at a time whenever somebody was let in. Meanwhile we had enough time to study the menu to decide which ramen it shall be and to buy the appropriate ticket at the vending machine.

Of course, a restaurant with a meal ticket vending machine has hundreds of tables, right? No, ONLY 16 seats, that is!

The lovely waitress collects those tickets, give or take 2.6 minutes before our estimated time of access to the pleasure dome so that the kitchen can mentally prepare for the ramen ahead. The result is a minimum waiting time once you sit down at the table.

And here we go – noodle slurping. This is the moment when I love to glimpse over to Yasuko. The first few ramen followed by a spoon of broth and her face says it all. It said “oishii”, delicious. The world around it eclipses and for a moment, there is nothing but the steaming bowl and its temporary owner.

If you get a chance, give it a try: www.ichiryuan.com