Fukuoka – Ramen City

Honestly, I’m just here for the Ramen. It’s my favourite food.

For those of you who haven’t experienced Ramen yet, and are in Japan or plan to be, make that top of your list. Right now.

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It’s a tasty, warming bowl of stock in different flavours – Soy Sauce, Salt, Pork, Bonito (fish) or Miso.

Add noodles. Depending on the region they can be super thick spaghetti-like or delicately thin rice noodle-like.

Then the toppings. A standard bowl will come with nori, onion, bamboo shoots and a tasty slice of pork. You can add extras like spicy miso, garlic, beansprouts, extra onion, extra pork, pickled veg or my favourite – a soft-boiled egg.

All together you get an awesome bowl of comfort food! In Japan, Ramen is usually eaten after a night on the town, or a meal, but most gaijin are satisfied with it for our main meal (apparently that’s strange…!).

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My stay in Fukuoka was just for the night, and I set out to find the best ramen in Fukuoka. After some blog reading and a recommendation from my kind AirBnB host in Fukuoka, Shin Shin looked like the best place to try thin Hakata Ramen, a Fukuokan speciality.

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It probably was, however the owners were out that evening…

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So I settled upon my second choice, a place called RAMEN STADIUM, on the 5th floor of Canal City shopping mall. With nine ramen shops which served ramen in styles from all over Japan, it was a tough decision!

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The place I chose, Shodai Hidechan, won the Canal Gourmet Pelorin Cup in 2012 for best noodles in Japan. The dish of top choice here was the Karadaruma Ramen. It was a tasty rich pork soup with thin Hakata noodles and topped with the full works – really spicy pickled vegetables, nori, green onion, egg, and thick, incredibly juicy, chunks of pork.

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Having travelled all day and not eaten, I ordered the Gyoza too, 10 of them, which had me nervous however when they came they were super tiny and cute! Crispy and full of flavour, these are not to be missed.

The address for Shodai Hidechan is here:

初代 秀ちゃん. 〒812-0018博多区住吉1-2-25ラ-メンスタジアム5F

1-2-25 Sumiyoshi Hakata-Ku, Ramen Studium 5FFukuoka, 812-0018, Fukuoka Prefecture. Tel: +81 92-263-6588

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Fukuoka was a great city to visit, the people here are really eager to talk with a foreigner and I made a couple of friends in the local Starbucks after a brief chat in Japanese. The city has a different, more casual vibe than Osaka and Tokyo, and it has a beautiful scenic walk along the large canal that runs through the city.

 

 

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