Tuesday, March 22, 2016

塩元帥 Shiogensui: the natural

Spending a little time in Osaka before heading back to Tokyo, we wanted to try out one of the most recognized shops in the area, but were turned away as the shop proprietors were away for some kind of staff training. So we went for a walk.

Tennen shio ramen (700yen)

Shiogensui seems to be a pretty popular place among the locals. There are shops all over Osaka, though we were going to the honten (main branch), which almost always has a better reputation than its offshoots. It's one of those larger shops you find outside of Tokyo that cater to families, with lots of tables and space inside. This one was run like a factory-line, with lots of shouting and moving of bodies. Also a bunch of chefs in the kitchen, though the relaxed vibe meant that people weren't coming in and out as fast as the typical Tokyo lunch counter.

The shop claims to make a "natural ramen," with a tare comprised of over 40 different ingredients. The noodles are also homemade, with natural kansui. The taste is overall light and refreshing, with nice hints of yuzu citrus. A bit lacking in oomph, with a possible side effect being a slightly overly salted bowl.

Maybe the more memorable items were the sides. Kimchi and garlic are all-you-can-eat, and the bowls, such as this mayo-streaked chashu, are great for only an extra hundred yen.

Osaka doesn't seem to have any single local style, with many of the most popular shops running the gamut from shoyu to tonkotsu. Shiogensui is similar to a lot of shio bowls available in Tokyo, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Osaka, Yodogawa-ku, Kikawahigachi 3-6-24
Closest stn: Minamikata

Open from 11am-midnight


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