“Ramen” is something you could call Japan’s comfort food. Having ramen for lunch and eating ramen while standing after a few drinks – these sorts of scenes are very common in Japan. The allure of ramen is far too difficult to replace with anything else. Maybe it’s because of that full feeling of satisfaction that you can only get from ramen.
“Yarou Ramen” is the restaurant that lets you eat until your heart’s content to achieve that fully satisfied stomach. This was exactly what I was after so that’s where I went. “Yarou Ramen” has developed 24 stores around the Tokyo metropolitan area, but the store I’m focusing on for this article was their Akihabara branch.Even from a distance, the restaurant stands out from all the other bustling places in the area because of its large sign and it’s vivid yellow outer wall.
After passing through a Yarou-ojisan’s ‘noren’ (a short curtain hung at a shop’s entrance with an insignia), you purchase the items you’d like to order through the automated ticket-ordering machine. There is a touch screen panel as well as an English menu, making it very easy to put orders through even if it is your first time. There are even photos of the menu items for you to look through, to help you decide your order. After picking up the ticket that pops out from the machine, you then make your way over to one of the staff and give him/her your ticket/s.
I gave myself a challenge by ordering the “Mega Pork Yarou Ramen”! To raise the bar even higher, I asked for the “Otokomaemori” With this, I more than doubled the quantity of my noodles! A regular-sized serving is 200g of noodles. The staff then repeated my order, “Otokomaemori of Mega Pork Yarou Ramen”. Just hearing that makes me boil with excitement. My heart was pounding with anticipation as I waited for 10 minutes for my order to arrive. Finally it was ready for me to devour!
Glancing from above, I could just make out garlic amongst the tower of roasted pork fillets. The whole thing looked like a mountain covered in snow! Surprisingly, the total weight is more than 1 kg！
With this hunger-quenching ramen right here before me, it was only natural for me to laugh without thinking.
I was wondering to myself “From where exactly should I start eating this?
I prepared myself for the dive and chose to bite into the mountain of ’char siu’ (roasted pork fillets). I then slurped up the noodles that could just be seen peeking out from the middle of the char siu mountain and then dived back into those char siu.
On top of the noodles, there were huge serving of crunchy fried vegetables, making my mission to finally reach the bulk of the noodles a very arduous one!
Silently continuing to eat, it was now a battle.
With no fear of the ramen spilling over, I cut through the mountain of fried vegetables and finally came to see the glorious soup and noodles.
The soup had a pork bone & soy sauce base that was surprisingly light in nature and even after eating as much as I had, I found myself drinking the soup too because it was just THAT good. For those who have a strong love for rich flavors, or for people who would like to experience a different flavour of deliciousness halfway through eating, I recommend the “Panchi Shiru” or “Punch Soup” in English. There are so many more different seasonings and flavors that are available for free, so be sure to try those varieties because you’ll be bound to discover your ideal combination along the way!
And there’s regular sized “Yarou Ramen”. For those who don’t quite have the confidence to finish off the mega sized ramen noodles but who loves meat, there’s the “Pork Yarou Ramen” available for the taking! It is a menu to symbolize this Store. There’s also a rich, spicy pork bone & miso based “Miso Yarou Ramen” available. Mega sized miso ramen is very rare, so please be sure to give that a try too!
Model : Rinalee
Photo by Yosuke Mochizuki
Translated by Cheryl Coyle
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