Friday, April 26, 2013

Yokohama Ramen Musuem

This week Raku has had a friend visiting, and the three of us went out to the Ramen Museum in Yokohama.  For some reason the museum spells it "raumen," but I'm just going to stick to the regular spelling.

The museum area of the museum is actually quite small.  It's just a wall inside the gift shop with some history - all in Japanese.  But the point is not to read about ramen, it's to sample the ramen!  The museum has recreated a little 1958 ramen village with nine ramen shops.

Main Square of the Village

Ramen Alley

Everything has been aged to look like it's from 1958

The museum has selected from the most well know in the country to represent the four major types of ramen: shoyu (soy) broth, miso broth, shio (salt) broth, and tonkotsu (pork) broth.  The shops all have vending machines that sell tickets for half and full sized bowls.  We decided to try three different types, but even with the half sizes we were stuffed by the end!

Our first ramen was tonkotsu style from Komurasaki.  Tonkotsu is my favorite type of ramen anyways, and this was excellent.  The broth was wonderfully flavored with garlic and had a rich almost creamy consistency.  There is red pepper on the table than you can mix in, which I did halfway through.  Both ways were great.  The only bad thing I would say it that noodles were maybe slightly overcooked.

Komurasaki: Tonkotsu Ramen
 Our second stop was at Sumira for some miso ramen.  This was my least favorite of the day.  The noodles were thick and crinkly, with a nice springiness to them, but I didn't care for the broth.  It was very thick and very oily, with a strong ginger scent.  I normally love ginger, but I thought it clashed a with the miso, and that the flavor of the bamboo shoots clashed even more.  I did like how the pork was diced rather than in slices.  For what it's worth this was Raku's favorite miso of the day, but her friend agreed with me.

Sumira: Miso Ramen
By our last stop we were all losing a little of our enthusiasm (even though I didn't finish my ramen at Sumira).  Luckily, at Shinasoba-ya the small portions were significantly smaller than at the other two places.  The noodles here were the thinnest and most delicate which Raku and I both enjoyed, though her friend preferred them thicker.  The broth had a delicate flavor that Raku and I both though reminded us slightly of Udon broth.  Raku found this very unsettling, but I was just glad it tasted better than the miso.

Shinasoba-ya: Shoyu Ramen

By the time we finished our tongues were burning from both the salt and the hot broth.  In our dehydrated state we went to the gift shop which was very entertaining.  Raku's friend bought some ramen to take home, and we all laughed at the ramen themed gifts.

Classical and Jazz Noodle CDs?

Super cute ramen stickers!

Yokohama Ramen Museum
Admission: Adults 310 yen, Children 100 yen
Hours: Typically 11:00-10:00, but varies daily, consult this page
Phone: 04-5471-0503
Address: 2-14-21, Shinyokohama, Kohoku-ku

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