Saturday, 17 August 2013

Ramen Museum

2 Chome-1421 Shinyokohama, Kohoku Ward
Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture 222-0033, Japan

I have always been a ramen fanatic. That seems like a funny thing to say considering that I had never had a ‘proper’ Japanese ramen, but I fell madly in love with the idea of a rich, delectable noodle dish that had thousands of incarnations to enjoy. I spent years in Melbourne trying to find ‘the one’, but as any noodle lover knows, Melbourne just can’t seem to get the ramen right. So when I finally got to Japan, I wasn’t content with just slurping ramen next to the local salarymen. Instead I took off with my travelling buddy, Sneha, to the Ramen Museum in Yokohama to taste the best of the best.

Not only is the ramen museum a place where famous ramen shops congregate, it is also a replica of olden day Japan (around 1958) bathed perpetually in an enchanting dusky glow. After we had walked around the narrow alleyways, taken a few tourist snaps, and explored the old-fashioned sweet shop, we sat down to discuss which of the 9 types of ramen we should try. 

Men no Bo-Toride

Men no Bo-Toride

Being a firm lover of tonkotsu, I insisted on the Men no Bo-Toride, which the brochure described as follows:

A tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen shop representing Kyoshu’s Finest. Head bones are used for their pork bone soup – simmered slowly with care for 20 hours condensing the umami taste element. Their noodles are handmade, super thin and straight.

And Merlin’s beard was it amazing. Whilst looking pale and innocuous in the bowl, the soup had an unbeatable richness from the slow simmer, and a depth of flavour augmented by generous usage of roasted garlic. The noodles were, of course, perfectly al dente. It’s the best noodle dish I’ve ever had, hands down. 

Mini Gyoza

We also had a serve of their signature Mini Gyoza, which were adorable bite-sized morsels with a crisp, translucent skin, and a filling that hit a perfect balance of delicacy and flavour. 

Sumire Miso Ramen

Sumire Miso Ramen

I couldn’t go past the Sumire Miso Ramen, not when it had a description that went something like this:

The most famous miso ramen shop in Japan. This miso ramen shop has a name recognition that spans the entire country. Their soup is so thick and yet so fragrant, you’ll never forget a spoonful of it. This, coupled with distinctively Hokkaido-style noodles, medium thick, that doesn’t let the rich soup’s magnificence get the best of them.

This was one helluva heavy ramen. Sifting past the centimetre-thick layer of oil on the top, I made my way to a bowl of soup that was deep and tasty, and noodles that had the perfect bounce in its curls. 

Sumire Shoyu Ramen

We had originally wanted to try 4 or so ramens out of the 9 shops, but unfortunately due to the policy of each customer having to order at least one dish, we had to end our journey with the Sumire Shoyu Ramen. I actually enjoyed this one more than the flagship miso ramen. Whereas the noodles in the miso were a tad flavourless, these ones absorbed the deep smoky flavours of the soy sauce and roast pork. However, the strong flavours imparted by the soup meant that by itself, the soup was nearly undrinkable in its saltiness. So we slurped up the noodles in the shoyu ramen, then drained the soup in the miso one, leaving us full to the brim. 


  1. OMG I didn't know that the ramen museum existed until I came back to Australia - this looks insanely delicious. Agreed that it's hard to find a good ramen back home, nothing beats the real deal!

    1. Hi Berny, thanks so much for visiting! The ramen at the museum was to die for, so definitely visit when you get a chance. I recently went to sydney and whilst the ramen there was really good (and leaps and bounds better than what's in melbourne), it's still not the same :(