Tonkotsu Soup Update 豚骨スープ改良続報

September 3, 2014

I recently brought it back to a less emulsified style. You will notice less white color. A layer of small oil dots and darker beige soup.

Less creaminess and more straight on pork flavors. I am now over the full on creamy phase and prefer the gelatinous and porky soup.

Along with this, salt content was reduced because the emulsification used to mask the saltiness as well and there is no need now.

I had one negative feed back from a customer that she preferred the full cream version but overall, many good feedback. I think it tastes very close to original soup but stronger collagen feel and fresh pork flavors.

Only noticeable big difference is that due to the emulsification bond on the soup being low, the oil completely becomes clear and the soup turns very dark once you stop eating. As always, I prefer not to add chemicals ie soy lecithin or xanthan gum etc to cope but rely on my trusty old stick blender to provide the small level of emulsification I feel is right so please do me a favor and enjoy it quickly.

現在はご覧の通り、真っ白ではなく乳化をだいぶ抑えた従来の48時間煮込みのTaro’sのスープに近い形で落ち着いています。圧力鍋で濃度は従来の20%増しですし、コラーゲンの感じ、豚の風味が、最近Night Noodle Markets前後の時期に採用していた乳化多めのスープよりこっちの方がダイレクトに伝わり気に入っています。乳化を抑えるとタレの塩度が立つため、タレの量も減らしています。スープの乳化具合をちょうどいい具合にキープするための乳化剤(レシチン、キサンサンガムなど)を投入する方法もあるようですが、そこは絶対に当店のポリシーでありえないので直前にスティックブレンダ―で弱めに乳化をかけて食べごろで提供しています。食べ追わったころには乳化が解けて脂の層と黒っぽいスープの層になってしまいます。ぜひそうなる前にお召し上がりください。味のFeedbackもしありましたらよろしくお願いします。




Upgrade to Tonkotsu Soup / 豚骨スープの改良について

May 26, 2014

Upgrade to Tonkotsu Soup

Tonkotsu, Red Tonkotsu and Fire Tonkotsu Ramen
$1.00 discount until upgrade is complete.

We have started to utilize pressure cooking of our soup and are currently tweaking the recipe and methods. The benefits of pressure cooking are 1) able to get a denser more freshly gelatinous soup, 2) fuel efficient = ecofriendly, 3) supply quantity increases. As of today, the resulting soup tastes beautiful using the same ingredients as before but the taste does not maintain until the end of the day. When the soup is fresh (this is best at 11:30 beginning of lunch shift) the soup is gelatinous, rich and tastes wonderful. However during the course of the day, it gradually loses emulsification and becomes light. This is what we are trying to improve. In the meantime, we will continue to serve Tonkotsu ramen but just as a token of our appreciation for your understanding, we will discount $1.00. Thank you for your cooperation. We certainly welcome any feedback and will reflect in our upgrading process.






Scenario – Degustation Dinner Dec 8th 2012

November 25, 2013

This is completely untimely being 11months away but forgot to post…

Before the film crew came out for my second degustation dinner, for my first degustation dinner, I had drafted a scenario of what I wanted to explain with each drink and dish. Considering the flow of the evening and mindful of food getting cold etc., I wasn’t able to explain fully all the information behind the dishes, drinks and food pairing, so where else to talk about it to my heart’s content other than this blog!

Read the rest of this entry »

August Special Kyoto Kitashirakawa Style Ramen / 京都北白川系ラーメン

July 28, 2013

別名天一系。京都の超人気店をインスピレーションに作って見ました。あくまでインスパイア系です。ブログのabout meに書きましたが自分に大きな衝撃を与えてくれたラーメンです。オープン3年半、満を時してメニューに登場させます。8月限定ですのでぜひご賞味ください!
Ever heard of Tenkaippin? This one is inspired by this shop. As I wrote in my about me section, this ramen was an eye opener for me at 16 years of age. Since then, I have come this far. But after 21 years I go back to my roots by putting this one on the menu. Limited during August only!


Kyoto – Meimon/Gogyo/Ichibanboshi/Watanabe Seimen

July 2, 2013

19:00 June 30 やっぱ京都で最初の食事はここ以外ないかなー!学生のときはできなかったゴージャスサイドメニュー全種類をつまみに親友と楽しく飲りました!やっぱ名門うますぎ!


Aji no Meimon Head Quarters @ Shichijo Shichihonmatsu.  This was probably the best bowl rated by university student Taro Akimoto 20years old 17 years ago.  Sticky collagenous chicken soup with no added oils.  Enjoyed the same taste, had to be my first bowl to start my ramen memoir journey.

21:00 June 30 二件目もラーメン屋!一風堂系の焦がし味噌ラーメン五行。町家を改築したオサレなお店、接客もいいし参考になりました。美味しかった。温度が半端ない!あっつ!て感じ。


Gogyo @ Shijo Sakuranobanba.  Recommended by N san.  Not on my memory list, but after reading about it, a good choice for a few drinks and nibbles and a bowl to finish things off.  The atmosphere and service standards, high motivation of the staff creating a vivbrant feel, all very good stimulation.  They’ve refurbished a Machiya style house probably 300-400 years old to a ramen shop and bar.  The burnt miso ramen’s burn tongue temperature, a really interesting one making me want to experiment too!

11:30 July 1本日一発目は渡辺製麺@西院。日本離れたのが8年前なんで魚介豚骨つけ麺を始めて食べた。魚介濃厚豚骨って話だけどデンプンぽいドロドロさは天一系に魚粉いれた感じ?麺はなかなかだけど僕だったらもう少し加水高めてもっともちもちさせるかな。

WatanabeWatanabe 2

Watanage Seimen @ Saiin.  Have not actually had the chance to try out the Tonkotsu Fish Stock Tsukemen which became main stream several years ago after I left Japan.  So this one also not on my memory list but good breakfast to start the day.  The soup felt not so thick from Tonkotsu protein and fatness but more from starch driven thickness.  Which is not unpleasant but left me still wondering if the real famous shops are also like this.  The noodles also could have been a bit more resilient chewiness which I think can be bettered with more moisture during the noodle knedding process.  Anyway a decent bowl.

13:00 July 1思い出の一番星。マスターは屋台3年、岡崎で34年。味も素敵な笑顔も全く変わっていませんでした。僕はまだ3年、頑張るぞ!

IchibanboshiIchiban 2Ichiban 3

Ichibanboshi @ Okazaki.  From the outside, you can never tell that this coffee shop looking place is a ramen shop if it werent for the tonkotsu aroma reeking the perimeter.  I rode my bycicle around the corner and smiled to myself as I knew straigth away from the smell that they were open from down the block.  This is the place that i frequented dueing my student days. Probably twice a week.  I was able to speak to the master in depth for the first time in 18 years and introduce myself as a fan and that I have followed his path in Brisbane Australia.  He was very happy to hear of my story and we shook hands.  His stock is tonkotsu predominant and charsiu seasoning as the predominant tare.  Topping is 3-4 decent slices of belly and or shoulder charsiu (very very good!), sprouts, shallots, bamboo shoots.  I always add some raw egg.  He has been keeping his style for 3 years as mobile yatai and 34 years at the current location.  He mentioned there are so many restaurants in Kyoto but still there was a need for a different taste and went for a distinct tonkotsu predominant ramen compared with the other shops that used chicken mainly.  Compare to his 37 years, I am still not even born.  Gambaro!

14:00 July 1 Tenkaippin Head Quarters @ Kitashirakawa. (just as a spiritual pilgrimage, no eating).


Other shots.  Lost track of time exploring and testing my memory and wasn’t able to score my fifth bowl of ramen.

Nishiki Markets and me sampling some ayu and hamo.

NishikiNishiki hamoNishiki eating

Doshisha Uni, Otani Uni.


Nanzenji Temple and Biwako Sosui.

Biwako 2Biwako SosuiNanzenji

A shot of my super fast ride of the day ($5 for the day and quicker than car or train!).


Farewell Japan till next time!

Fukuoka Ramen Pit Stop

January 12, 2013

Ramen at Fukuoka.

Dropped off my bags at the airport, took a 5 minute subway ride to Hakata station to visit a classic tonkotsu staple, “Fukuchan” Hakata branch. Classic Hakata style, head bones, back bones visible from the pot. No finishing aroma oils used. Lots of tare, a spoonful of the magic powder, two separate scoops from the same pot. An oily layer and then the soup. The noodles are a tiny bit thicker than mine. Charsiu is very lean. A heavily pork smelling with a nice oily layer but relatively light soup base.

Next shop, catch a cab to Yakuin. Noodle Theater “Genei”. The shop is fitted out like a theater. The seats are elevated and look down on to the stage being the kitchen. They claim no MSG and house made noodles, so adhere to a similar standard to mine. Their recommendation was the fish based Shoyu. They fry shallots and make an aromatic oil to every order. They hand rub the noodles each serve. The soup is pretty much 100% fish stock. The noodles are high moisture so plump and chewy.

I was impressed and also running short of time to be able to explore and cue up at another shop decided to order their tonkotsu soup as well.

The tonkotsu had pretty good density, not as high as ours but given a twist to part themselves from the numerous classic tonkotsu staples. I got a strong aroma of ginger probably in the finishing oil. The noodles shared the same hand rubbed thin wavy noodles. The charsiu was basically the same slow cooked type but the tonkotsu
came out with a softer cut and the Shoyu had a leaner cut.

Both shops have a strong character and worthy of their respective fame.

Won’t go into point evaluation as I am no longer a unbiased blogger but I will say that I strengthened my confidence that my pursuit of my ramen is the closest to the ideal tasting ramen according to my preferences and standards!

3 bowls in 30minutes. This was my last food in Japan as I fast in my jet star flight.

As you can imagine, 5kg heavier in the very very intense 2 weeks in Japan!









Kura kotteri tonkotsu ramen (packaged)

March 8, 2012

My readers would probably know how religious ramen is in Japan. My mother got excited that our local ramen shop in Shichigahama “Kura” did a collaboration stint with mid size convenience store chain “Circle K” and came out with an instant cup ramen.

In 2009 May, I went and visited the owner of Kura, Mitsutsuka san and he was kind enough to spare time for me, listened patiently to my passionate plan to open up a ramen shop in Australia and gave me some valuable words of advise. Amongst pessimists and realists, Mitsuka san was one of the few people who said, “it took me 3 -4 years before customers steadily started coming. I can tell you it’s definitely hard but with your passion, I am sure you will make it!”.

My mother drove around Sendai because they were sold out everywhere and in the end was able to secure one for me.

The noodles are not the fried type but actual noodles freeze dried. The soup is not powder but concentrated liquid. And in the aluminum pouch there is a pork belly charsiu and minced backfat.
Of course some freeze dried shallots and a piece of real nori.

The main instruction on the lid calls for hot water to be poured in and to let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile keep the charsiu pouch and soup pouch warm by keeping it flat on the lid. However on the pouch it says to enjoy better, heat pouch in hot water for 2 min. So I opted for the enjoy further route and cooked the soup and charsiu pouches piping hot.

Result. Pretty impressive for an instant ramen. Can tell Kura’s distinctive notes of chicken and pork flavors and the minced backfat topping really intensifies the bowl. Noodles don’t come close to theirs but are some fine noodles for a packaged product. Only problem is the small serving size and I ended up adding my own thin curly noodles to finish it off. Can you see that Kura uses the same bowl as us!?

Kura had been hit badly by the tsunami being in the lower part of Shichigahama/Tagajo area. But I was happy to hear that Mitsutsuka san was alright and was able to reopen in several months. It is especially nice to see this cup ramen as it tells me that he is doing really well now.