After the bitter disappointment of the Ramen place in Budapest, it was with slight apprehension that I decided to walk the winding streets to Ramen Kazu and give it a go. I read a lot of reviews online, and the average scores were very high, but since Ramen is still a "novelty" dish in vast parts of Europe you can never trust what people are measuring it against. Are they saying its better than their regular Chinese take-out? Do they know what the differing broths SHOULD taste like? One is left wondering.
I was of course overjoyed to see a bonafide enthusiastic Japanese chef in the kitchen who greeted me as I found a table. In the corner were 3 Asian ladies happily slurping away chatting at a hundred miles an hour. Another good sign. I ordered the special Shoyu Ramen (nr 1) and anxiously fidgeted with my chopsticks in a mixture of fear and anticipation.
The bowl arrived, and within a second I could tell this would be tasty. The glistening fatty gloss of the broth, the thinly sliced chashu, the menma, nori and spring onions all placed proportionally in the bowl and held together with that broth. The noodles were springy, had a delicious chew to them. The meat was perfectly soft and flavoursome. The broth was dark, huge undertones of various flavours but perfectly balanced. The egg was cooked almost to perfection if they had taken it out 20 seconds earlier. I sat there and kept eating even after I was more than full.
The price of 13 Euro is quite steep, but i'd rather pay that for a quality bowl, than 10 Euro in Budapest for something that deserved nowhere near the praise.
The quest to find a decent bowl of ramen in every country on earth.