This is the last day of Ogawaya ramen week (actually, this review is 2 days late. Sorry…had a busy weekend), and I’m a bit sad. But, I’m also a bit glad…you try to come up with 5 different and interesting ways to describe the same noodles! I also want to give a shoutout to rameniac for his timely and wildly informative “field guide” to 22 (yes, 22!) popular ramen styles in Japan. If you want to read up on the background behind the hakata and kurume ramen I’ve been talking about for the past week, this is a great resource.
Every once in a while, events fall into place that makes you think of fate; even though I chose this week’s ramen in random order, it turned out I was actually eating them in order: each day’s was progressively better, and today’s ramen was the best of the bunch.
The distinctly bold black package gives a hint of what was to come. This kurume (ichiban!) tonkotsu shoyu ramen had a rich…well, a rich tonkotsu shoyu soup base. But more on that in a second. I managed to overcook the noodles both times, which may have contributed to them being just slightly soft. (The first time, I got into a strainer battle with my wife, who was cooking her dinner at the same time. I lost, of course. And the second time, I was too busy daydreaming about the first bowl of ramen I just ate that I completely lost track of time. Sigh.) I don’t really need to get into the noodles in detail anyway. You already read about them here, here, here, and/or here.
Now the soup…yes, the soup…ah…the soup had a delicate, light shoyu aroma. It was bold! It was beautiful! The shoyu was deep, but didn’t overwhelm the lighter tonkotsu flavor. The tonkotsu provided a excellent partner to the shoyu, giving it a more complex and rich flavor that lingers in the back of your throat. The ramen was so good it was gone literally before I realized what happened! I searched the bowl feverishly for the hole in the bottom that I
Though this refrigerated ramen would put some of the ramen houses I’ve been to to shame, I can’t give it a 10. I’m still too much of an optimist. This ramen was excellent, but my head didn’t quite spin all the way around. Until I find that “perfect” packaged ramen, I have to say this is the best one so far, and I’m happy to give it a 9!