We hope you are staying safe during these testing times. Travel to Japan is not possible for the time being as Japan has shut its borders in order to prevent more infections of COVID19.
Article written by Anh
Osaka is well-known as the kitchen of Japan. It is famous for fried foods such as Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba. Although ramen is not Osaka's speciality, it still has some distinct flavours. There was a period that I was really into ramen and I ate so much ramen that my friend once said I would become "real Japanese" because of Japanese love Ramen. I would like to share with you some must-try ramen restaurants in Osaka that would definitely make you become addicted to it.
Keikatei is a ramen restaurant near Kadomashi Station（門真市駅). It is a popular restaurant in a quiet residential area that many workers often come here to enjoy hot ramen after a hard-working day. The restaurant is small with both private seats and tables. No reservation is needed. The outstanding thing of Keikatei is that it serves super ramen with 10 big braised pork belly that Japanese often call "chashu". It might sound incredible but it only costs 1020 yen. I believe that you cannot find any restaurant in Tokyo that serves the same size of ramen bowl as Keikatei with the price of less than 2000 yen. The taste is, no doubt, extremely delicious and another strange thing that made me surprised is that they put bean sprouts into ramen, which is rarely seen in other restaurants. Because this size is too much for a normal person, I would recommend not to eat anything 5 hours before trying this ramen bowl. You can also take home if you cannot eat all. Just say "Motte Kaeritai" and restaurant staffs will help you prepare a box.
Besides chashu ramen, you can also order other kinds of ramen and many different foods such as gyoza, salad and fried rice. In this restaurant, you can eat pickled vegetables and ginger, kimchi as much as you want. Do not forget to put some chilli powder into your ramen if you are a fan of spicy food.
Ichiran is a famous ramen chained restaurant. You can easily find this ramen brand anywhere in Osaka even in rural areas. They have the same interior design and ramen menu. Ichiran can be recognized by its big red signboard in front of the restaurant. One thing that I like the most about Ichiran is that you can have a private seat without seeing other people's face. Each seat is separated by wooden plates and a front window for staffs to bring ramen to you. And you cannot see staffs' face as well. If you want to enjoy ramen lonely and silently without interaction with others, this restaurant is absolutely a good choice.
After entering the entrance door, there are two other doors on the left and right for private seats or shared tables. You have to buy a ticket for ramen at the vending machine and give it to staff after taking your seat. Then you will be given a paper on which you will select your favourite soup flavour, how salty or delicate taste you want, the softness of ramen… Do not worry because they have English and Korean instruction for foreigners. Ichiran satisfies me with a professional service that each seat is equipped with a bell so that you can call staff whenever you need. Only one thing I do not like is that there are no free pickled vegetables and kimchi.
I leave you some Ichiran address in the downtown of Osaka:
► For the Dotonbori area:
► For Shinsaibashi area
Ichiran Ramen Shinsaibashi
► For Namba area
This is not really a restaurant. It is a standing vendor where you can enjoy your ramen at the counter. This vendor is located 100m near the Namba Hips building in crowded Namba area. Many visitors and local people often stop by this vendor to have a quick meal. Buy a ticket at the vending machine and voilà your ramen is ready in 2 minutes. Good news is pickled vegetables and kimchi are free. This vendor serves pig bones based ramen soup so the taste is quite light and have the sweetness of pig bones. Normally for ramen, Japanese does not drink the soup because ramen soup is salty and contains a lot of calories amount but for a light soup like this, they drink drain to the dregs. It is said that the ramen noodles are not typical Japanese ramen but they look like a traditional Chinese noodle.
If you drop by Kinryu Ramen at rush hours, you have to queue and wait for a long time. So try avoiding coming there at around 5-6pm. One bowl of ramen costs 600 yen which is a reasonable price.
Next time if you visit Dotonbori, try this ramen vendor to see how Japanese enjoy ramen in their daily life.
Tap below for google maps