"The quest for the perfect ramen bowl outside of Japan"
I felt like someone trapped in a clown costume in 90 degree heat walking the streets of Copenhagen to Slurp. Was it a wise decision to wear all black? Probably not. However the need for colour anonymity trumped the comforts of pale shades, and I marched into the unknown future sticking to the side of the street that was shaded.
I arrived at Slurp wondering at first if I had walked into a Berlin nightclub at 2am. The music was ear-achingly loud. Obtrusively so. The kind of volume that makes you wonder if they are trying to tell you to fuck off in a passive aggressive way.
The front of house offered me a menu and I ordered the Shoyu. I sat watching cycles pass by with cheery people off to a park to soak up the rays that winter stole. It was not ideal ramen weather, but since I eat most of mine in Asia, this was not an anomaly.
Within five minutes my bowl arrived, I took the necessary photographic evidence and set about tasting the broth. Good. Clear, deep flavour, not muddled or tarnished, but solid umami waves. Next up was the noodles, made in house, and you could taste it. They were not over-cooked which is always a bonus, and had a nice chew.
For some reason they had plonked some asparagus in the bowl, and much to my annoyance it actually fit. The artichoke puree added a bit of creaminess. What didn't manage to hit heights of euphoria was the pork. It tasted slow-boiled, rather than oven braised where the fat renders down and becomes an angel wing of silk disappearing at the slightest quiver. Slurps chashu ate more like simmered meat, with a slighty chewiness. It lacked any real seduction or excitement.
Another culprit was the egg. Sure, it was boiled just over six minutes, and had been marinated so the yolk set "jellyish", but again the marinade used for it tasted rather bland and ate sweet. It lacked the right balance.
Despite the negatives, if the bowl of ramen was judged on taste-merits itself, with a couple of slight adjustments it could easily be an 8/10. However, the two missteps with the egg and pork, along with a catastrophically arrogant price, reduced this to a 7.
This is definitely a ramen I would go back to try again in a year to see if they had worked on the egg/pork (or perhaps they just like it that way), but the price would stop it becoming a regular weekly indulgence like I am used to in other countries.
After all, in a recession and with inflation reaching new heights, who can afford to pay 23 Euro for a bowl of what is essentially cheap comfort food in Japan.
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.
"Tastes are subjective, so take everything with a pinch of salty tears"