Here Are Our First Ramen Restaurants to Go for 2020!
Check Out Points They Focus on.
Freezing winter strongly discourages us to go out. Despite that, the colder it gets, the more this dish forces us to feel like eating out. That’s what is called, “Ramen”!!
Once you fill your mouth with the steamy hot noodles and soup, you get hot and sweat even in winter. Now ramen has established a status as one of the Japanese national food. In fact, Koriyama is particularly considered as a battleground for ramen restaurants. Since there are so many ramen shops that compete with each other, lots of ramen lovers exist in this area. Ramen culture is rooted for sure. Here are the amazing ramen and ramen restaurants in Koriyama!
◆Shinasoba: 600 JPY (Tax included)
The clear soup with a great flavor and good sweetness tastes light and mild, while the noodles are thin and wavy. The toppings and presentation are simple. It is topped with tender chashu (simmered pork) slices, boiled spinach, shredded Japanese leek, naruto (fish cake), menma (stir-fried and simmered bamboo shoot), and a seaweed sheet. This is what Japanese people call “Classic Shinasoba”.
Inside the restaurant which gives you a feeling of warmth, there is a five-table seating area along with a counter seating for 4 people. It’s kind of small but cosy and customers can enjoy the close distance to the owner/chef.
They also offer set meals that include yakiniku, curry, Japanese dumplings, or rice. But still, good old “Classic Shinasoba” is highly recommended by word of mouth.
The broth for the soup is extracted mainly from chicken bones and some pork bones are used too. Both flavors are not too strong, moderately adding umami tastes from each ingredient to the soup. Then it finally turns up as a beautiful clear soup that smells so yummy and tastes light and mild. It has a nice sweetness and catches super thin wavy noodles, and even makes you feel like drinking in big gulps.
This soup gives you the same sensation of when having miso soup in the morning after a heavy drinking night. It smoothly goes into a stomach with no strain. The mild taste and scent would make you eat up the normal serving easily, so maybe you can go for the Omori (large serving) and finish it up with no problem. The noodles, soup, toppings, each of them doesn’t appeal too much but complements one another, making a great harmony for one perfect flavor in mouth.
What the owner/chef focuses on is to make it completely simple. Recent ramen noodles indeed have tons of varieties and are becoming luxurious more and more. On the contrary, the varieties of good old Shinasoba (chuka-soba= ramen) was small. It was such a simple food with no frills. That’s what he is aiming for.
Once people who know the nostalgic taste have a bite of this simple Shinasoba, they think it tastes same as when they had in their old days, Showa era.
↓Owner/chef, Mr. Takahashi
Shirakawa Teuchi Chuka-soba Izumiya (Handmade Noodle Restaurant)
◆Miso Ramen: 850 JPY (Tax Included)
In Koriyama, you can eat rare miso flavor of Shirakawa Ramen (normally comes in soy sauce-based soup). The texture of their soup seasoned with a special miso mixture of three kinds of miso is really smooth, and the sweetness of each element such as chicken broth, veggies, and miso-soboro (stir-fried minced meat seasoned with miso) beautifully stands out. The nice smell of Chinese chive stimulates your appetite.
Restaurant manager, Mr. Izumi said, “This place was started in July 2018, after learning ramen cooking methods at Koriyama’s famous Shirakawa Ramen restaurant whose taste I had fallen in love with. ‘Handmade noodles’, ‘chicken broth’, and ‘smoked simmered pork’, these three factors are needed to be entitled to use the name of Shirakawa Ramen. We start cooking around 3:30am every day to prepare our noodles, soup, simmered smoked pork, and wonton with no artificial seasonings.
We use medium wavy handmade noodles, and our soup mainly made from chicken broth is rich and deep. For our chashu, we first smoke meats, and then simmer them carefully. We use different cuts, so 4 kinds of chahsu are prepared in our kitchen. I’d like to serve something I believe it’s delicious, and something I never get tired of even I eat that every day. Fortunately, many of our current customers visit us repeatedly, and some of them come 5 times a week. We’d like everyone to try once, so just come and visit us. We open at 11am and close when our soup runs out.”
◆FUKURYU Ramen (Standard Size): 690 JPY (Tax Included)
Pay extra 100JPY to FUKURYU Ramen (Standard Size), and you can enjoy their recommendation, “Zen-mashi FUKURYU Ramen (790 JPY)”. They offer you three great options: 1. You can choose the portion of noodles you like from Standard, Medium, Large, 2. You can choose the portion of veggies, 3. You can get free toppings up to eight kinds. Find your favorite combination!
Restaurant Manager, Mr. Shoji said, “It takes 12 hours to make our soup, and we use two kinds of homemade noodles: thick and super thick, depending on the type of soup. For dipping noodles, we use super thick noodles so that a nice smooth noodle texture can be felt stronger, while for bowls of ramen in soup, we use thick noodles so that they go well with moyashi sprouts. Our noodles are truly value for money. Making noodles on our own enables us to make it happen.”
How was the damage from the typhoon in last October?
Mr. Shoji answered, “This is the 7th year since we started, but unfortunately we became one of the victims of flood caused by typhoon 19. On that day, I stayed at this place, and from around midnight, water started came in and went up like dozens of centimeters within several minutes. Water reached 150 centimeters at most. I saw tatami mats floating, and kitchen equipment broke down. I had never thought water would come up that much. After that, we temporarily closed this place, and kept preparing to re-open while I worked at another location. There were many customers who looked forward to us coming back. So, we tried to make the closed time meaningful for them.
Now repairing is done, and our place looks greater than before. We are re-opening this place on 25th December (Wed) 2019. We will be waiting for everyone to come and enjoy our food.”
Memba Tadokoro Shoten, Koriyama Minami Location
◆Hokkaido Misozuke Aburi Chashu Men: 1020 JPY (Tax Excluded)
This one is so big with 3 slices of grilled chashu which was marinated in their special miso sauce. The tender melting fat and meat tastes sweet. This is the very best ramen topping! Their nice chewy medium wavy noodles catch the strong rich soup well.
Their preparation is very careful. They make soup every morning, using pork bones, chicken bones, vegetables and other ingredients, which takes four hours. The popular topping, chashu is also homemade. First, they cut and roll the well-selected pork meat, and then simmer it for two hours, coat it with miso, and rest it overnight.
They offer 3 choices of miso: “Shinshu Miso” ※1, “Hokkaido Miso” ※2 and “Kyushu Mugi-miso” ※3, though at Koriyama Minami Location, “Hokkaido Miso” is absolutely popular. Other than those, seasonal menu items of “Ise-Miso” ※4, “Sendai Kara-miso” ※5 are available for limited period.
※1：Yellowish miso mainly produced in Nagano area. Made from soybeans, malted rice, and salt.
※2：Reddish miso mainly produced in Hokkaido area. Contains relatively large amount of malted rice, therefore, salinity is low.
※3：Miso mainly produced in Kyushu area. Made from soybeans, barley koji, and salt. Salinity is low.
※4：Blackish brown miso mainly produced in Ise area. Made from soybeans koji and salt. Salinity is high. Tastes deep.
※5：Chilly spiced Sendai Miso which has a reddish brown color. Salinity is high.
Vice Manager, Ms. Miyashita said, “This place is a Miso Ramen Specialty Restaurant. We use fresh cask miso, and sincerely offer not only our rich tasty soup but also all the toppings and side menu items in most delicious condition such as grilled chashu, simmered eggs, kara-age(Japanese fried chicken), gyoza (Japanese dumplings), satsuma-age (fried fish cake), milk ice cream, etc. Also, we always try to keep in mind to offer neat energetic speedy service so that our customers can have a great time. On weekends, toys are on offer for free for families with children, and we also have raised tatami floored seating area for families with children and big families.”
Tonkotsu Miso Ramen Butaboshi
◆Miso Ramen: 800 JPY (Tax Included)
For the soup, they use awase miso, a mixture of aka-miso and shiro-miso※６. Since they are the miso-ramen specialty restaurant, their pork bone broth-based miso soup is so deep and tasty. Toppings including abura (seasoned pork back fat), karame (special sauce) are available for free. Create any combination you like by adding all the toppings, going for yasai-mashimashi (extra veggies), or zenbu-mashimashi (increaseing every ramen item).
※6：Aka-miso is reddish dark brown miso, which is fermented for a longer period than shiro-miso. It contains more salt but has more flavor and popular in Tohoku area. Shiromiso is pale-colored miso which is fermented for a shorter period than aka-miso and tastes mild and less salty.
Restaurant Manager, Mr. Haga said, “We use gyaku-giri noodles (made by thinly cutting thicker flatten noodle dough than normal one), since they are wavy, they catch soup very well. We also make great thin noodles. They are normally difficult to catch soup, but ours can soak up and capture very well.”
For our miso sauce, soup needs a richness, sweetness, and some sort of fat element that come from animal protein. So, we tried so hard to find out our taste by changing kinds of pork bones and veggies as well as their ratios. Now, our ramen is the only one we can make because we are the specialists of miso ramen.
By using our homemade awase miso, we adjust the taste so that customers can enjoy our ramen until the end even with moisture from veggies.
For our customer service, we keep in mind to be cheerful and energetic so that our place becomes full of life. For customers who visit us late, adding extra noodles after 8pm is available for free. We will keep on trying new events such as seasonal menu items and fairs. So, look forward to what’s coming next!”