Tuesday morning we had a bit of a lie in and Mum and Ted set off to do some more exploring alone. We took Mya, Abby and Ewan into Teramachi (read shopping heaven) and decided food was our first priority. After being distracted by many things, including a K-Pop shop, we began searching in earnest for somewhere to eat. I google mapped places in the area, and it suggested a ramen place near-by. The place was tiny and we couldn’t all fit, but spotted another ramen place across the road. Tonkotsu ramen. I have never eaten ramen in Japan. I usually have an issue with wheat. This time I am not having an issue at all, and am making the most of being able to eat different things. I also didn’t eat pork for nearly 25 years, so ramen was a bit of a revelation. There are 2 places in Melbourne where I can get gluten free ramen and I love the broth so much. This was my first ever tonkotsu ramen. And…. what an experience it was.
The restaurant was a typical Japanese ramen restaurant where you purchase your food from a ticket vending machine. You choose whether you want a set or just a bowl and then if you want extras. We were then handed a menu choice sheet and taken into the restaurant. Each seat was a small wooden booth with water and cups and a bamboo blind. You fill out your checklist of how you want your ramen, with pork, with garlic, extra rich, extra spicy. Press a button and someone takes your order. You are then delivered the most amazing bowl of soup noodles…..
I didn’t realise at the time, but Ichiran Ramen is one of the most famous ramen chains in Japan, and Forbes magazine suggests it is the best. Starting in Fukuoka in 1960 and then spreading throughout Japan, it is now in 65 locations as well as Hong Kong, Teipei and New York. The rich and delicious umami broth was so good that Mya got tears in her eyes. A girl who loves food as much as her mother, I was on the same page. This was a near full body experience of deliciousness. We went early and missed the crowds, but it is not unusual to have to line up for up to an hour to enjoy a bowl of these noodles. I would. (In fact we returned three days later, as both Mya and I had been dreaming about those perfectly cooked noodles and that tonkatsu flavourful beautiful broth).