Experience the Ramen culture at Gokumaru Ramen restaurant (Part 1)
In this article, I will introduce to you Gokumaru Ramen – a “tiny but mighty” restaurant I like most, which has given me chances to experience and broaden my horizons about Japanese Ramen culture.
About Gokumaru Ramen restaurant
Gokumaru Ramen is the name of a chain of Ramen restaurants located in Kyushu, Japan. With 5 official restaurants respectively placed in Oita, Beppu, Nakatsu, Ozai and Usa as well as other small restaurants spread in the neighborhood of Kyushu, Gokumaru Ramen has become a familiar noodle brand to Japanese.
My experience at the restaurant
All outlets of Gokumaru have a simple but contemporary outfit using Red and Black as dominant colors, which aroused my curiosity from the first sight. Not only the outside appearance does attract me but also the minimalism and courteousness of the inside furniture.
Maybe only by reading my description, you are imaging it as a "fancy", costly or luxurious restaurant. No way.
My first step into Gokumaru leads me to another gentler and warmer world, where people have more time to slow down and entirely enjoy each strip of noodles. And what's more, we can feel and share the coziness and happiness with our family and friends.
From which do those feelings come? The warm yellow light or the petite space bringing people closer together? Oh, I don’t know either, it is just the cozy sense I have whenever I am at Gokumaru.
I have tried quite many Ramen restaurants in Japan, but to be honest, Gokumaru is one of the few restaurants offering the diversified and abundant menu.
Afterwards, I knew the fact that every guest coming to the restaurant, regardless of age, gender and preference, could find their favorite flavor since the restaurant team has tried hard to diversify the menu.
Gokumaru also offers daily set menu along with the regular menu so that all guests can easily opt their favorite dishes with reasonable price.
Gokumaru’s menu consists of 4 Ramen flavors as follows:
- Tonkotsu flavor (pork bone stock)
- Miso flavor
- Shoyu flavor (soy sauce)
- Shio flavor (the frugality from vegetable stock and salt)
In addition, stir-fried dishes (as Yakisoba and Gyoza) or rice-based dishes (rice with char siu and fried rice) of Gokumaru also appeal to me. If you have a sweet tooth, try Gokumaru dessert list and you will never be disappointed. Pudding and ice cream at Gokumaru restaurant are all handmade so their flavors are unique that I cannot find anywhere else.
The dishes I like most and regularly order are Gokumaru Tonkotsu and Tsukemen.
Gokumaru Tonkotsu is the signature of the restaurant. It is the greasiness from traditional bone broth harmonizing with the special sauce that makes the character of the restaurant displayed through this dish stand out than ever. If this is the first time you have eaten Ramen, or you are the kind of person who leans towards conventional flavors, Gokumaru Tonkotsu is an extremely suitable dish which will certainly convince your taste. To me, it was also the first Ramen flavor I ordered when I first came to the restaurant and I was completely satisfied.
On the other hand, Tsukemen - dipping ramen at the restaurant has been innovated with the harmony of pork, soy-marinated eggs and dried seaweed. I usually order this Ramen, especially in summer because it is cool and will not be soggy when I sometimes eat slowly.
Affordable or even unbelievably cheap price is one more thing I like at Gokumaru, especially to abroad students like me. A full and delicious meal with Tonkotsu just costs from ¥590. It depends on what I order, the total cost usually fluctuates from ¥600 to ¥1000 per person.
Besides mouthwatering and reasonable priced dishes, staffs at Gokumaru are the major factor that maintains my loyalty. Gokumaru is not only a restaurant but also a home which gives me the feeling of loveliness, friendliness and carefulness delivered by all staff here.
I am a regular guest so they are all familiar with both my face and my eating preference. Sometimes I do not have time to go to Gokumaru, I really miss their genuine smiles, happily welcoming greetings and funny gossips we chatted together even when they are up to their necks at work. Spending time at Gokumaru helps me gain more knowledge about the hospitality and enthusiasm of Japanese people, and moreover, I get to feel the warmth of humanity when living far from my hometown.
Visit Gokumaru Ramen
And I cannot wait to see you in my second part!
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