Down a side alley, tucked in next to the a stairways is a little shop. One would miss Ten Ramen if one didn’t know what you are looking for. When you walk it you are greeted by a single bar top with no stools but a line of people hunched over slurping and eating their bowls of warm delicious ramen while conversing with their friends. On the wall to the left of you is a little machine to input your orders and all the extra filling you would like. Next to the machine, the cooler is filled with authentic Japanese soda with a variety of flavors or if you crave something with a little adult kick in then there is a few beer options. Personally I like to add a poached egg and extra noodles to any of the ramen noodles. I love the Tonkotso Ramen filled with seaweed, pork, ginger, mushroom, and other yummy ingredients. If you want a little heat then Spicy Lobster might be the cure for you or if you want to order a milder option then add garlic or chili seasoning which are available on the top. The Tonkotso Ramen is the balance of salty, meaty, rich, succulent, and umami flavor. It creates a slow warmth in your belly that feels like an old friend giving you a hug.
In a way I guess it is an old friend giving me a hug as I reflect on my childhood memories of exploring the streets of Tokyo. The light and sound of a city that balances itself between the modern world and ancient traditions that are important to family. The food of Japan definitely reflects that culture. Ramen is the comfort food of Japan and there are Ramen shops on many corners, but here in America ramen is thought of as the instant noodle cups college kids horde while surviving on low budgets. In Japan, ramen is a bowl filled with hot broth that is a punch of flavor, fresh ingredients to enhance the broth, and the alkaline noodles are the filling chewy comfort to top off the already perfect food.
Ramen truly is emperor in Japan and with more ramen shops appearing here in America soon ramen could be emperor here. Ten Ramen will be on my list of ramen shops that one will want to visit for a good bowl of one of my favorite foods. What are your thoughts on the popularity of ramen and the diversity of it?
1888 Sylvan Ave, Dallas, TX 75208