MR 3

The thickest ramen in Japan is like no bowl of noodles we’ve ever had before.

Along with a pleasant smell, a steel will is one of the requirements to work at RocketNews24. That said, there are limits to even our powers of perseverance, and after a month of staring at pictures of Japan’s thickest ramen broth, we could no longer resist the urge to try it for ourselves.

And so we hopped on a train bound for the city of Kariya in Aichi Prefecture. After getting off at Higashi Kariya Station (25 minutes from Nagoya), we made the 12 minute walk to Oiwatei, the restaurant that’s home to the famous “mud ramen.”

MR 1

Even though we arrived 30 minutes before Oiwatei opened, there was already a line of over 20 people outside the entrance. We ended up waiting for an hour and a half before we got a seat, so if you’re visiting Oiwatei in the summer, we recommend grabbing a cold drink at a convenience store along on the way.

Eventually, though, we were ushered inside. For our first meal at Iwatei, we decided to order the standard version of its signature dish, which is officially called Oiwa Ramen Tokudori and costs 900 yen (US$8.75).

▼ Oiwa Ramen Tokudori, circled in red

MR 2

Soon enough, our order was up. While we generally think of ramen as being noodles served in a bowl of broth, Oiwatei’s looks more like a bowl of thick stew, with folds and contours, plus pockets of air bubbling up from below.

MR 3

MR 4

MR 5

Aside from the broth, all we could see were a sprinkling of green onions and two strips of seaweed. We knew that somewhere in the bowl were noodles and chashu pork, but they were completely hidden. Before we started searching for them, though, we had to see for ourselves if the rumors about Oiwatei’s broth being so thick you can stand a spoon in it were accurate…

MR 6

…and it turns out the legends are true!

MR 7

Even freakier is the fact that rice will float atop the broth.

MR 8

Following this confirmation, it was time to eat. Dabbing our chopsticks into the bowl resulted in the odd sensation of goopy resistance, something we’d never experienced before when eating ramen.

MR 9

While the broth is like nothing we’d ever seen before, the noodles and chashu are pretty much what you’d expect for an archetypical Japanese ramen joint.

MR 10

As for the broth, it’s a tasty mixture of pork and chicken stock, though with much more of the former than the latter. More memorable than the flavor, though, is the sensation as you insert a spoonful into your mouth. All moisture behind your lips disappears, and while the flavors and textures make for a very enjoyable meal, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got something to drink as you eat Japan’s thickest ramen.

Restaurant information
Oiwatei / 大岩亭
Address: Aichi-ken, Anjo-shi, Midori-cho, 1-16-9
愛知県 安城市 緑町 1-16-9
Open 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Closed Mondays

Images ©RocketNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]