Tuesday, November 20, 2007

To eat cheaply & well in Osaka

Kinryu Ramen / Golden Dragon Ramen 金龍

Looking for good and cheap eats in Osaka? Head to any one of the three Kinryu Ramen stalls in Dotonburi. Hard to miss with the gigantic 3D fibreglass dragon sprawled overhead the stalls.

Order via a coin-slot machine, the ¥600 (approx USD 5.50, SGD 8) or the ¥900 (approx USD 8, SGD 12) noodle soup (with char siew –roasted pork. Highly recommended, worth paying an extra ¥300 for the delightful slices of char siew).

The kick is in the complimentary self-service array of condiments. Help yourself to the pepper, garlic, Kimchi (Korean-styled spicy pickled cabbage) and chilli-pickled chives, mix them up with your ramen and savour the goodness of the resulting broth. Satisfy your craving any time as the outlets are open 24hours.

As my travel companions and I stayed nearby at the Swissotel Nankai (a good hotel linked conveniently to the Namba station and located in the prime food and entertainment district of Namba), we often braved the wintry winds to satiate our supper cravings for Kinryu ramen. Once, we encountered a group of Hong Kong tourists who cabbed all the way in the dead of the night for two bowls of ramen each. They devoured the first bowl, then ordered a second, only to drink up the broth, leaving the noodles intact. A unfortunate waste of good noodles, but I understand their craving for a second bowl of the hearty broth. The soup stock of pork bones tasted divine!

Dotonburi (道頓堀) is a shopping/restaurant street located in the Namba district, accessible via the subway. Exit either Namba station (なんば駅) or Shinsaibashi station (心斎橋駅) on the red Midosuji (御堂筋線) line.

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