Just as sushi reigns Japanese cuisine royalty, ramen holds a similar esteemed position. Ramen restaurants are ubiquitous throughout Japan, with Tokyo boasting an impressive 10,000 alone. It’s not hard to understand why – a steaming bowl is inexpensive, accessible and super tasty. Tick, tick, tick.

Despite its seemingly simple components – curly egg noodles in broth – well-executed ramen packs an incredible flavour punch, with time and skill needed to create an authentically rich and delicious bowlful. Within this can be regional and vendor-specific variations too, impacting the broth type (the most common being soy sauce, salt, miso or pork bones), noodles (their thickness and ‘doneness’) and toppings (pork, green onion, bean sprouts, egg, seaweed and more).

During our time in Japan, we consumed copious amounts of ramen – enough to rival our body weight. My favourite was from the Osaka ramen chain, Kinryu Ramen, located in the lively Dontonbori district. The unmistakable giant dragon, perched atop the restaurant, is a beacon for ramen enthusiasts.

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