“Eat the Ramen,” they said.

(January 2019)

Before leaving Washington, I had multiple people tell me to eat the ramen. A co-worker said, “Eat as much ramen as you can.” A family member said, “Make sure you try the ramen.” People love ramen, people rave about the ramen, it’s incredibly popular among Americans visiting Japan.

One of the first places Rob & I had lunch was a small restaurant called Ramen Mutsumiya, generally known as Red Door Ramen, because, you guessed it, they have red front doors. Several people spoke of this place before we arrived, but honestly, I think it’s all they knew because it’s right outside the base. I was looking forward to the authentic ramen everyone raves about so I ordered ramen in a soy sauce broth with green onions, roasted pork, seaweed and bamboo, while Rob ordered the beef fried rice, which I tasted and it was amazing. As for my ramen, I didn’t enjoy it at all and tried so hard to power through and finish it, but I just couldn’t… I really didn’t like the broth. I didn’t enjoy the bamboo, either, but I think it was as a result of soaking up the broth. The seawood was good and the roasted pork was delicious. I let Rob taste the pork and he was sorry he ordered the beef fried rice instead of the pork fried rice because the pork was that delicious, but he didn’t like the actual ramen at all either. We both liked the pork so much that we went back to the same restaurant later in the week and each ordered the pork fried rice. They give you a ton of food so I requested the half order which was such a good idea. I made fried rice once at home, but it wasn’t nearly this good so now I have something to strive for! The ramen was disappointing for me after all the build up so I refused to allow this to be my only ramen experience. However, I SO didn’t enjoy that dish, so much so that it took me until yesterday to try ramen again, and I was afraid of paying for another dish I didn’t like. Yesterday, I mustered up the nerve to try a different ramen dish. This time, I ordered ramen that had a miso broth and it was significantly better than the first! I didn’t love it but was an improvement. This one didn’t have any meat in it but it still had bamboo, which was also significantly better than the first time around. I could actually sort of enjoy my dinner! So, I feel a little better about ramen now.

That being said, if I were to compare ramen to some most of the other dishes I’v tried during my time here in Japan, I would generally choose the other dish. I liked the miso ramen but not enough to choose it over some of the other deliciousness around here. I really wanted to love it as much as everyone else but it’s just not for me. The presentation is lovely though!

These aren’t new pics… just relevent to the blog.

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Eventually, I plan to give ramen one more go. I just want to make sure I know what I’m dealing with so I need to find a great ramen place in Tokyo. Maybe Red Door Ramen has truly amazing ramen but I just want to have another experience to compare! Maybe I’m the only person on the planet who just isn’t into Japanese ramen.