Our last full day in Osaka was going to be a rather "easy" one....well, easy in relative terms. We woke a bit later than usual, then hung around the apartment a bit. We then headed off South. Walking was quite easy and we eventually came to the first of two gigantic shopping malls; the first, Namba City, basically two huge multifloor complexes, going two floors underground and two stories above ground with over three hundred shops. The second Namba Parks, built on the site of the old Osaka Baseball Stadium has a huge roof garden with waterfalls....and to keep the Missus busy, a ton of cosmetic shops. All of this was fine with me because just a block or so away on one of the side streets is a location of Ippudo Ramen. I'd been wanting the Missus to try classic Hakata style Tonkotsu and this was our chance.
We basically found the place based on the unique sign. It was dead on opening time and we walked right in.
We'd gotten into the habit of ordering one bowl of ramen, with the Missus ordering a rice bowl and extras, and basically sharing.
The Missus got the "Hakata Chikara Meshi" - basically chashu gohan. This was pretty darn good...the pork just tender enough, moist, it was a very nice bowl.
We got an onsen tamago for the Missus to have over the rice.
I gotta say, the ramen was excellent, perhaps the most picture perfect example of Hakata style ramen I've ever had. Rich, but not too rich or oily. The broth temp was nice and hot.....
The long and thin Hakata style noodles are a problem for the Missus...She dislikes them. But I believed the main reason was because most places over-cook them, even when you ask for it extra firm. This was spot on perfect. Nice pull, just perfectly chewy.
Check out that egg.......I don't think I need to add any commentary.
Since I'd be sharing my bowl with the Missus, we hedged our bets and added a couple of extra "toppings".
This was a super solid, no frou-frou, no fancy marketing BS, no noodles made by "blond haired virgins from a remote island in an unknown archipelago" tonkotsu ramen. It was perfect for the day and the best bowl I had on this trip.
The place started filling up as we exited.....
The Missus, even with Her perspective clouded by the Santouka effect, still was impressed. Something else really got to Her as well; "I don't see some senior guy running the place like other ramen shops....it looks like a bunch of college students. It's kind of amazing that they put out something with such attention to detail. There's no way that happens at chains in the US."
And now with some perspective, She's even more impressed.
I guess we'll need to head back there.....soon.
3-1-17 Nanbanaka, Naniwa-ku, Osaka