ezo ramen - oslo, norway
Rating: 2 / 10
During my multiple decade span of attacking anything in a bowl, I have no doubt had my fair share of utter disasters, and to say this was one of the most (un)memorable, would not be an overstatement.
Having already lavished redemptive praise on the owners primary branch (Sapporo Ramen) in Oslo, he decided to open a new venture, barely 400 meters apart, housed in a rectangular hipster/cold barbaric modern building (ok, Sapporo isn't cosy by any means), and serving what they claim to be the same recipes just clothed in different cladding.
The space inside felt like a disused swimming pool drained of life, so we opted for the outdoor seating area since the sun was making a rare appearance. The ordering was "Covid-protocol" with a fidgety annoying app that required a PHD to download and install, then connect to their wifi rather than 4G to be able to place your orders and pay. My friend on his iPhone didn't manage to make it work so I ordered double and he Vippsed. Small details can annoy old buggers like us.
If the food was good, then you'd calculate your futures on a fucking abacus, but this food was seriously mediocre.
My Shoyu Ramen arrived and before I even tasted it I knew it was off. My friend ordered the Spicy one and said it was O.K. but this shoyu bowl was a rainbow of wrong. The pork was dry and had that rind of raw fat that's so unpleasant on the palate. The egg was monstrous... soaked in some bitter marinade that offered nothing but repulsion on first bite (and last bite). As is the case with Sapporo, the noodles leave a lot to be desired with their curly yet awful texture. But the main sinner here was the broth. It was completely vapid. Devoid of any care. Chokingly salty but not even in an umami-ish way.
I struggled to even eat half of it, shaking my head in provoked anger. This was robbery, this was theft. There is nobody on earth who has eaten a decent ramen who would fawn over this monstrosity.
I don't know what or who was in charge of quality control here, but it cannot be the same person over at Sapporo, because despite their ramen being an average (+), this was a mediocre (-).
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.
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"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"