Tuesday, July 04, 2006

熊本ラーメン Kumamoto Ramen

The city of Kumamoto is located in the center of the southern island of Kyushu Japan. Ramen from this region is dominated by the famous Hakata style ramen that is from the northern city of Fukuoka, but the ramen from Kumamoto has a few distinct features that sets itself apart.

Kumamoto style ramen soup is a tonkotsu based, white colored broth, but where it differs from Hakata style ramen is its milder flavor. Kumamoto style ramen is also often flavored with fried garlic oil that is noticeable with the brown oil. The noodles are often thicker than the Hakata style, and includes unique toppings such as kikurage mushrooms, and lightly cooked or raw cabbage.

Hakata and Kumamoto style ramen are definitely very similar. Hakata style ramen has really taken over the ramen scene in Tokyo since the early 90's and remains very popular today. I like to think of Kumamoto style ramen as the reserved younger sibling that has slowly built a strong reputation for itself.

★★★★ なんつッ亭 (Nantsuttei) - Tokyo

★★★ ひごもんず (Higomonzu) - Tokyo

★★★ こむらさき (Ko-Murasaki) - Shin Yokohama

Higonoren★★★ 肥後のれん (Higonoren) - Tokyo

★★★ 桂花 (Keika) - Tokyo

★ 味千ラーメン (Ajisen) - Tokyo


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