Ok let’s talk about the real deal, best ramen I’ve ever had. Down a back alley away from the street lights of Umeda, Osaka. We wandered into this hole in the wall restaurant late one evening. Little did I know Roku Sanroku has a 14 locations, mainly within the Osaka area.
From what I’ve heard about tsukemen it was right up my alley. A dense thick broth, reduced for hours and the creation of a thick chewy ramen that has been created to maximize delivery of the dipping sauce. Roku Sanroku is a medium size restaurant in Japanese standards, maybe 13 bar stools and 2-3 tables for 4. It operates with the usual vending machine ticket system, all signs point to an average Japanese ramen shop.
Roku Sanroku takes everything to the next level, the tsukemen is based on tonkotsu and some seafood. We’re talking Pork broth boiled for hours, chicken broth separately boiled for hours than combined for your standard tonkotsu but you also add that into a type? (yeah my lack of Japanese cuisine knowledge is lacking) of Iriko Dashi which is a kombu and anchovy dashi, I think. After the stock has been saturated in pork/chicken bones for hours everything is strained and combined than reduced for what has to be hours and somewhere in that process dozens of onions/root vegetables are used I can only assume… since there are cases of it lining the outside of the restaurant, it also makes sense the vegetables thicken it with the gravy like consistency of the sauce. The noodles are cooked perfectly and are at room temperature with the slightly warmed dipping sauce.
The flavor is super rich, super deep, super complex and you can tell its been cooked for hours. It truly is one of those perfect mixes of umami; sweet, sour, salty, rich in a perfect balance. The pork on the side is excellent as well, it seems like at the last-minute they torch it, it’s tender with a mediocre crust on the outside, but the flavor of the pork is outstanding. The egg is a standard 68 degree egg, not much to say about that. explore just how good the tsukemen broth can be along with the perfect match of the noodles. The temperature of the ramen, dipping room temperature noodles into a warm broth was also on point. The last highlight was a personal one, just finding a dingy looking restaurant with boxes of onions outside in a quiet street off where all the main restaurants and shops are and having it turn out to be the best ramen I’ve ever had. We hunted for the place just before we left Osaka, it took a little memory and luck but we found it and it was just as good the second time.
April 13, 2015