Rating: 4 / 10
Ramen is my religion, and giving low marks to a Ramen restaurant is tantamount to backsliding. However, in this case a renounciation of my faith was a much needed act of purging.
Many would say I'm an idiot for eating Ramen in Napoli, but i'll have you know that location doesn't always define outcome. I have had some sensational bowls in suspect cities around the world. All it takes is access to good ingredients and a chef who cooks from the heart.
Where we start wading into murky waters is if the chef is either an opportunist jumping on a trend without the necessary skills, or just someone who thinks a watered down version of their national craze will pass as authentic enough to a city who's main population has not travelled to Japan before.
I'm not going to call what I think is going on here, but i'll say this: The service was extremely friendly from the Lady from Shanghai, but the ramen was a total miss.
The tonkotsu broth had a pleasant flavour but was lacking in any real oomph. Thin soup, no fat, no depth or character, just some decently made stock which isn't rocket science. In any Japanese restaurant the noodles should never be overcooked, and especially in Italy where Al Dente reigns, but these were definitely over. My egg was a boring exercise in chewing and the texture was off. Naruto really is over-rated, why does anyone still put it in ramen bowls? It comes off as tacky and cheap.
All that being said, the main offender for me was the chashu. There are times you get a chashu with a very high fat-meat ratio but it's been rendered and cooked out so much so that the fat has a glossy silky texture that compliments the firmer meat portion. This was the opposite..... the fat was almost raw jelly-like and slimy, and it honestly triggered my gag reflexes going down, not something you want in a public place.
I'll chalk this one down to an optimistic chaps life lesson epic fail, and continue eating myself silly with pasta and save the Ramen for if I go back to Milan.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Sadness is tempered by umami, grief by the motion of slurping, hope restored in the ladling of glistening, fatty broth"