I don’t often go out during the week, but since I took two days off to enjoy a long Golden Week , I decided to go try Tenjin Ramen in Okayama city which is only open during the week for lunch.
Tenjin ramen is a very old ramen shop located right across the street from Okayama’s Symphony Hall and the entrance of the shopping arcade.
We got there at 11h30 and there was only 2 seats left at the counter.
We were welcomed by 3 old ladies and I was told that they took care of the business after the owner died. The wife who worked beside her husband, decided to keep the business running to my delight.
The shop only offers shoyu ramen in different sizes and topping options. I was sitting right in front of the soup pot and I could see chicken carcasses protrude the surface of the boiling broth.
The soup was rich and fatty which is considered in Japan to be a “man” taste. The surface was glistening with chicken fatty oil, the kind of sheen that my mom use to remove from her chicken stock.
The shoyu taste does not over power the chicken broth.
The noodles were thin and pretty straight. I could see wooden stacks of fresh noodles right next to the boiling water.
The show stopper was definitely the shashu, the pork held itself really well and it wasn’t too fatty.
I order the large portion which is a portion and a half of noodles and it was just enough for my big appetite. They also have a double portion on the menu.
Two types of hot pepper flakes were on the counter next to some really nice pickled rakkyo.
Not long after we left, there was a long line in front of the small shop. The shop opens at 11h until 2h30. It’s a short window, but it’s worth the visit. I know this might be difficult if don’t work in the center of Okayama, but don’t miss a chance to visit Tenjin ramen.
Tenjin ramen is the real thing, a simple shop where ramen is made with love.