Nothing is too late for a hungry bunch. At 11pm, our group went out of the street in search for some grub. We just spent 4 hours on a plane, about an hour and so more on the road to get to our hotel in Osaka. We were fatigued and famished and I was ready to call it a day despite the demand of my grumbling stomach. Then Michelle, the most cheerful of the bunch, happily reported that she found a ramen place that is still opened somewhere in the neighborhood. Now hold on a sec, did she just say ramen? That Japanese noodle soup dish in fatty creamy broth often topped with soft-boiled egg and chasu?! Okay, what is sleep.
Whenever someone asks me to name my favorite food, I’d always say ramen. The love affair began last year when I went to Butamaru in Alabang. Since then I try my best to sample other ramen places, but Butamaru remain unparalleled, not until this trip.
The signage is in Japanese, as everything else in Japan. Thanks to Michelle’s Japanese skills, we learned that the name of the place is Yatai Marutoku Ramen. It can be found in a corner of a street along Fukushima. We spotted some Japanese men enjoying a drink outside and some of them tried to speak with us. Soon, they cleared the table like they were trying to be polite because our number couldn’t fit inside the restaurant.
I went inside and found a long table bar facing the kitchen. It is manned by two Japanese men who spoke zero English. We learned pretty soon that generally, Japanese people don’t speak English. Had Michelle not been there I’m not sure how we would place our order when the menu itself is written in Japanese. Hence, I cannot translate to you the menu or tell you how much it cost, let alone the kind of ramen that we ordered.
Aside from ramen we also had gyoza, which is small and easy to eat, you’d wonder if you have been eating it at all. I’d pop it in my mouth and then it’s gone and I’m like where the f did that gyoza go? lol
I had the perfect spot to see the chef in action. First, he put the noodles on a kotobuki strainer and dipped them in a machine with boiling water. While the noodles are cooking, he laid out the bowls on the table, put some herbs, spices, and sauces onto them, then added the broth. He does this quickly and efficiently like dancing. I sat there in mawkish fascination as he pulled out the strainer from the water and poured the noodles on the bowls.
My hand shook from excitement as I brought the broth-filled spoon to my lips. Then I cursed, a good ‘ol girl from the ghetto curse that could get anyone in trouble. It was so good it will make you swear. How could a ramen taste this good?! It doesn’t even taste anything like the ones that I had back home. This one is gold, it’s something special, something unforgettable. Why couldn’t I stop myself from slurping its creamy broth? Why did I finish the broth to begin with when it never happened before?! And why did I eat the mung bean sprout when I always have it taken out whenever I ordered ramen before? This ramen shocked me to the core. I know how I sound, like a mad woman. But this is the best way I could narrate the experience.
I’m crying just remembering that this ramen is 1,655 miles away from where I am right now. To this day, my biggest regret is that I wasn’t able to go back there after that night. But you can definitely say that this ramen is one of the best things that ever happened to us in this trip. You can ask my fellow bloggers who were there with me if you don’t want to take my word for it. Some of them even went back; I should have gone with them!
Osaka is a beautiful city, I have many reasons to go back to it. But if it happened that I didn’t have any reason, this ramen would have been it. Yatai Marutoku Ramen alone is worth coming back to.
Yatai Marutoku Ramen
Address: 1-6-18 Fukushima, Fukushima-ku, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
Telephone No.: +81 6-6454-5310