Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Hakata Ramen

Location: Hakata Ramen

Rating: OK
Meal:  Lunch
Price: 780 yen
Payment: Cash only
Dishes:White broth ramen with an egg
English Menu: No
Smoking: No

Apologies up front, but I didn't get the correct name for this restaurant while I was there, thinking I could decipher the kanji in the sign later.  Turns out I took a picture of the ramen style (hakata ramen) rather than the actual name.  I'll get it right later and update this post.

So...today I took my bike to work so I could go further afield and try something new for lunch.  My wife and I were walking by this place the other day and noticed the previous ramen shop (unreviewed by me) had closed and been replaced with a new one!  So that was my destination.

I arrived and there was a line out the door.  That could be just due to its newness, we'll see if the line is still there in a few months.  There's a ticket vending machine as usual, and (currently) no English translations, so I'd suggest aiming for something over 700 yen to ensure you get an actual meal.

The style of ramen here is Hakata, known for being a lighter pork bone broth and thinner noodles.  Ippudo Ramen is a famous brand name associated with the style internationally.  Another interesting thing they do here is after you get your ramen, you can ask for "kaedama" which means "another helping of noodles" (along with the usual specification of hardness/softness:  katame or yowarakai), and they will cook that right up for you.  I suggest asking when you have about half your noodles left so it arrives while the broth is still warm.  It appears to be free for now, though I don't know if that will last past opening buzz.

I do want to go back and try a "black" ramen that they have advertised...it might change my opinion up a rank to Very Good if so.  But for now, while it is nice to have some variation in styles available downtown, and the free second helping of noodles is also welcome, it didn't really impress me much.  I thought Ippudo's flavors were better overall.

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