Frequent readers and my close friends know that traveling to me means finding the best food available – even when it means making a detour just to get there; and a great bowl of Ramen is definitely something I’d expend considerable effort to seek out. Unlike Openrice in Hong Kong where users give smiles too freely – Japan has tabelog – and the locals are harsh – so when I searched for the best Ramen in the Kyoto/Osaka region and got something close to 4 – Ms. Buddha and I had to go! I welcome Orenoramenappareya (俺のラーメン あっぱれ屋)
The place itself really isn’t the easiest to reach – we ended up using Google map to guide us instead of the regular GPS because we couldn’t find the phone number. The location itself is about an hour outside Kyoto (we were on our way from Kyoto to Osaka). The silver lining is that there’s plenty of parking, and the car park is quite easy to spot.
The shop opens from about 11 and we got there at about 11:20 – which meant that there was a line already – my advice is don’t be deterred (you made the effort to get here!) – and the queue moves quite swiftly and you can enjoy the little details around the shop.
When we were almost being seated, you’re asked how many people you had in your party – not soon after, we were seated!
The great thing about great ramen shops is that they don’t tend to do many variety – which means that you’re not overwhelmed with options to try – both Ms. Buddha and I went for the regular ramen – but I had the one with extra meat (did not regret that choice!)
First off – the soup base is excellent in the fact that it was super smooth and yet oddly light tonkotsu base. The depth of the flavour is amazing in that it gradually grows on you unlike some Ramen places that kind of punches you with an initial hit of flavour – definitely one of the better soup bases I’ve had.
That said, best thing with the ramen is by far the pork that comes with it. Wow was the only words that I could come up with when I was eating it. The meat was slightly pink in the middle (which is perfect!) and because of the slower cooking method – the marinades was allowed to soak subtly into the flesh – absolutely perfect and I mentioned multiple times I was wise in choosing the extra meat.
Ms. Buddha went for the same bowl but with less meat – she had the same reaction, in particular the pepper mixture that covered the edge of the cuts. What’s more, she also loved the egg – which the owner noted throughout the store that were locally sourced!
When it comes to Ramen, I think 鬼金棒 (Kikanbou in Kanda) continues to be my favourite in Japan purely because of the chilli – but if you’re talking about a more neutral view – Orenoramenappareya deserves its high rating!!