Now that it is confirmed that I’ll be going out to Japan this May, my brain has been busy running through the things that now need to be done. These tasks are mostly tedious, and so I have allowed my mind to dwell on some of the stuff I’ll do once I get to Japan.
First on that list is deciding what the first thing to do is. As in… anyway, when I get to Japan the first thing I will do is: Eat ramen.
Well, obviously the first thing I’ll do is grab some canned coffee, but that won’t take long. My first proper action will involve locating ramen, and of course some gyoza to accompany it.
Let me explain briefly what I’m talking about.
Oh, you know about ramen? You had some at Wagamama?
You know nothing of ramen!
Ahem… what I meant is that the difference between the ramen you get in Japan and the stuff on offer in the UK is roughly equivalent to the difference between real-life Mt. Fuji and a badly-drawn triangle.
Anyway, in case you really do know nothing of ramen, it’s essentially noodles in broth, except much more exciting than that sounds. The broth is what makes the ramen. Deep, rich, and in all other ways very tasty. It generally comes in 3 flavours: salt, miso, and soy sauce, which incidentally is my order of preference. Throw in some quality noodles, some sliced pork, a bit of chopped up veg, and a half-boiled egg for good measure and you have yourself a meal my friend.
Almost. A bowl of ramen is not complete without a plate of gyoza on the side.
Gyoza are dumplings. But again, such a translation fails to do them justice. They are bite-sized bundles of delight. I defy anyone to sit before a plate of steaming gyoza and remain an atheist. They are irresistible proof of divine benevolency.
Interestingly, ramen and gyoza are both originally from China. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told. But they are one of the most popular dishes in Japan. Kinda like the way us Brits have adopted and adapted curry to our tastes.
A fair few of my Japanese friends have traveled overseas. And when they get back to Japan they invariably seek out a ramen restaurant as soon as possible. I understand why: Ramen is – in case you hadn’t gathered this already – amazing!
But enough about me, what about you? If you’ve spent time in Japan, or elsewhere, what’s the dish that you really crave? And if you do know a restaurant in the UK that sells Japan-level ramen, please let me know!