7 Popular Ramen Restaurants in Kumamoto
Kyushu has a strong local ramen culture, which is especially apparent in the prefecture of Kumamoto, home to two particularly well-known varieties of ramen: Kumamoto Ramen and Tamana Ramen. With such a strong ramen culture, it goes without saying that Kumamoto has a large number of ramen shops, each with their own versions of these ramen. Here are some especially delicious and popular ones!
Feb 21 2019 (Feb 20 2020)
1. Kokutei Shimotori Branch (Hanabatacho)
Kurotei is famous for its Tamago-iri Ramen (900 yen) that has two fresh egg yolks in it. It's recommended to mix the egg yolk with the noodles when eating. While the soup may look thick, you'll find that it's surprisingly refreshing when you actually try it. The large chashu (roast pork) slices, black Chinese mushrooms, and other toppings are also of high quality, making this an exceptionally delicious ramen to try out.
The more standard Ramen (680 yen) is also pretty popular. Pork bones are used to make the broth and burnt garlic is used to add a touch of fragrance to the soup. The noodles are of medium thickness, and the flavorful chashu is also a delight!
2. Senryu Ramen (Tamana)
This restaurant has a retro feel, and you can recognize it by the red curtain hung over the entrance. Its signature dish is the Tamana Ramen, which is made with a strong tasting pork broth that has a sweetness created by the fats and oils in the soup. Fragrant burnt garlic is also added to give extra depth to the flavor.
The noodles are medium-thin and straight, making them really easy to eat, and the ramen uses standard toppings like chashu, green onions, black Chinese mushrooms, and seaweed. Besides ramen, the restaurant also serves many Chinese dishes for you to try.
3. Toen (Tamana)
This casual ramen restaurant's signature dish is the Tamana Ramen, which is made with incredibly oily pork broth that goes extremely well with the medium-thick noodles. It's recommended to go for the raw egg topping, and you can also add as many fried garlic chips as you want for a different taste.
Their Chashu Ramen (880 yen) comes with a hearty serving of roast pork slices. There's so much meat that you'll struggle to see the noodles! Feel free to add some fried garlic to enhance the taste.
4. Keika Ramen Kumamoto Main Branch (Hanabatacho)
Keika Ramen is a well-established and popular Kumamoto ramen restaurant, which now has branches in Tokyo as well. The Keika Ramen (650 yen) is their classic dish that shows off the knowledge and experience they have accumulated over the years. The delicious milky soup is made from carefully-selected pork bones, chicken bones, and salt from Ako. Their house chashu is also yummy.
Taromen (950 yen) is a ramen that's served with 3 huge pieces of their house chashu. You might think it's the same as chashu noodles since they're both noodles with pork slices, but you'll find that the taste is quite different. Try and experience it for yourself!
5. Tengaiten Main Branch (Suidocho)
Tengaiten Main Branch is really popular for its Kumamoto ramen. It's a small ramen shop located just behind the department store Tsuruya. They only have counter seats, but the place is usually packed with customers. Their Ramen (700 yen) features pork and chicken bone soup that has a refreshing taste and is easy to finish. They use noodles that are thin to medium in thickness, which is typical in Kumamoto.
The Chashu Ramen (1,000 yen) is covered in so many slices of chashu that you can't even see the noodles! This is perfect for those who love chashu and can't get enough of it.
6. Daikoku Ramen (Ikeda)
You'll be able to spot this restaurant from its black shop curtains covering the entrance. The Ramen Set (980 yen) is a must-try dish, featuring Kumamoto ramen with pork broth, offal stewed in miso, and rice. The offal has no odor and is really delicious!
The Men Tokumori Kuromaru Ramen (750 yen) is another dish that you should try. This visually impactful, luxurious ramen has a mound of vegetables on top of it! The black soup is actually pork broth and has a surprisingly creamy texture. It's flavorful and tastes great!
7. Hi no Kuni Bunryu Main Branch (Musashizuka)
Hi no Kuni Bunryu Main Branch is a ramen restaurant with a really eye-catching dragon's head on top of the restaurant building. There's no way you'll miss this restaurant!
The special characteristic of the ramen here is the rich, thick soup! The Tonkotsu Kuro Kotteri (690 yen) is perfect for those who like strong tastes. Its thick soup is surprisingly refreshing and goes well with the curly noodles. For those who're not good with rich and thick foods, try their Tonkotsu Kuro Assari (650 yen) instead.
These are some of the ramen restaurants offering local-style ramen in Kumamoto. Even within Kumamoto Prefecture, the ramen differs from restaurant to restaurant, so it can be quite enjoyable to go around trying several different places. Why not try comparing Kumamoto's ramen with Hakata's ramen while you're at it?
The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.