Ramen comes in a wide variety of flavors. In the mood for soy-sauce based shoyu ramen? Or maybe you want to have miso-flavored ramen? How about salt (shio) or pork-stock (tonkotsu) ramen? These are the standard options for just about every ramen shop in Japan.
But what would you say to milk flavored ramen? Is such a ramen flavor even available?
Well, it is at a certain ramen shop in Tokyo, and apparently it’s quite tasty too!
Skeptics out there may want to actually try the milk ramen at this shop before you pass it off as another crazy Japanese invention. Some people say it’s incredibly delicious and others say it’s not really to their taste. Opinions differ, but all in all, the consensus is that milk ramen isn’t too bad.
The shop in question is “Manpuku” located in Koenji, Tokyo. The shop is in the style of a Japanese cafeteria with a nostalgic atmosphere and offers traditional set meals (teishoku) along with ramen.
Several of our reporters went to Manpuku and actually tried the “milk ramen” and “miso-flavored milk ramen”. Their comments are as follows:
- Miso-flavored Milk Ramen
“Compared with any other regular ramen, it was tasty enough, but I thought the milk somewhat weakened the flavor of the other ingredients and the soup stock. My impression was that if they used a little bit less milk, they could maybe improve the quality of the finished product. That being said, the ramen does have a kind of very comforting, familiar taste. I can understand why it would be popular.” (Comment by a reporter with a cooking license)
- Milk Ramen
“Being called “milk ramen”, I thought it would be quite heavy and taste more like actual milk, but that wasn’t the case at all. The flavor is not too rich and the soup was easy to drink. The flavor is refreshingly light while still retaining the richness of milk, and they have managed to turn it into a conventionally good bowl of ramen.” (Comment by a reporter with work experience in the restaurant industry)
- Milk Ramen
“Milk mixed with a salty flavor usually tastes like western style cream soup, but this ramen soup is made with a strong soy-sauce based stock which makes it a distinctly Japanese-style milk soup. It is like adding milk to osuimono, a traditional clear Japanese broth (although you wouldn’t normally do that with osuimono). The milk mellows any sharp flavors from the soy sauce, giving the soup a unique softness unlike that of other regular ramen. The soup matches ramen noodles perfectly, but I also think it would taste very good if you added rice to the soup, although it probably wouldn’t be the most refined way of eating. (Comment by Norisuke Kujo, B-grade gourmet critic)
And there you have it! We hope you might be inclined to try the milk ramen yourself and see if suits your taste. The shop itself has a very soothing atmosphere and is the kind of place you would want to go to relax when you’re tired. Enjoy the unique ramen!
-Details of the shop in this article:
Shop Name: Manpuku
Address: 3-23-19 Koenji Minami, Suginami-ku, Tokyo
Business Hours: 11:40～15:00 /17:30～23:00
[ Read in Japanese ]