This was my most anticipated bowl of instant ramen this year.
Okay so a bit of a long backstory with this ramen, if you don’t want to read about it, feel free to skip to the end for the review.
Two years ago, Richard and I went to Japan for vacation. We didn’t do much research before hand, but we heard of Ichiran ramen through Instagram and just had to make the trip. Of course, its riddled with tourists, so our expectations weren’t high, but boy were we impressed. We loved it so much that we went a few other times while we were in Japan even though there was so much food we wanted to try. Everything from the texture of the noodles to the flavor of the soup was so delicious and perfect, we couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Since that trip, we crave that Ichiran flavor all the time. Luckily, they opened one in Brooklyn, and so during our trip to New York we got to try it again. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t as good as the Japan locations, but it still hit the spot. This time, we also made sure to pick up a pack of the instant version so that we didn’t have to travel to New York or Japan to get a fix.
Our New York trip was in January, but we didn’t eat this until recently because we were saving it for a rainy day. At a price of $29.99 for a pack of 3, we wanted to savor it for as long as we could.
In the package, you get three packs of noodles, three soup bases, and three spicy packets to add on top. Naturally, we ate all three portions at once for the two of us because serving sizes are overrated.
We added some fried tofu, seaweed, green onion and egg to ours—plus all of the spice packets (we like spicy).
As soon as you bite into the noodle you already know that its not going to be as good as the restaurant version, because it lacks that bouncy chewy texture that the fresh noodles have. However, neither of us expected the soup flavor to taste so different.
We expected a much stronger tonkatsu flavor, but it mostly just tasted kind of like a flat shoyu broth. It was pretty yummy, just different from the Ichiran flavor we were used to. Understandably so, because getting a real tonkatsu flavor is really hard to make in an instant version.
Even so, we were secretly crying as we were eating this ramen, because when it was gone then it was gone. And we would have to wait until the next time we go to New York or Japan to get another fix (it’s literally like a drug to us lol).
All in all, I would definitely recommend picking up a pack or two when you are at Ichiran. The flavor is definitely different than the restaurant version, but it is still on the better end of instant ramens in general. it’s kind of expensive but it makes a great gift for the ramen lovers in your life. Or, if eat ramen regularly like me, its a good “special occasion” instant ramen haha.