Sure it looks beautiful, but can a ramen this colourful actually taste good?

Just the other day, we wrote about a very unusual new ramen that’s become a viral sensation on social media: the Happy Rainbow Ramen. Created by Japan’s Dosanko ramen chain, in conjunction with social media company Snaplace, the new ramen features seven shades of the rainbow, and we were keen to see what this rainbow tasted like.

▼ So we headed down to our nearest branch in Tokyo’s Otemachi as soon as the noodles were released on 8 December.

However, when we arrived in the evening, the dish had already sold out. 

It appeared we had seriously underestimated the popularity of this ramen, and on the advice of staff, we returned the next day at 1:00 p.m.. It was lucky we did turn up at 1 in the afternoon, because when we arrived, we saw this sign at the front of the store.

▼ The noodles are sold from 2:00 p.m. and…

▼ …they’re “limited to five meals“.

Five meals?! We couldn’t believe it. Despite all the buzz online about the new noodles, this was the first time for us to hear it was only limited to five meals a day. This makes Rainbow Ramen one of the most hard-to-get dishes in the country!

Fortunately there was no line when we arrived, so we spent some time at a nearby cafe until 1:45 p.m. At that time, two male customers appeared and began waiting outside the restaurant for the special ramen’s 2:00 p.m. start time to commence.

We got in line behind them, and by 1:50 p.m., all the spots were filled, with five customers patiently waiting outside to taste the colours of the rainbow. At 2:00 p.m. we were seated inside, and it didn’t take long for our colourful ramen to arrive.

▼ Just look at this beauty. Have you ever seen a happier bowl of ramen?

Happiness is what these noodles are all about, as Dosanko and Snaplace wanted to create a meal that would bring some cheer to the restaurant industry, diners, and people’s social media accounts, which have taken a hit this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The colourful bowl of noodles certainly made us break out into a smile as soon as it was placed in front of us, with seven colours of the rainbow immediately perking our mood in a way that no regular brown-hued ramen ever has before.

Looking carefully at the rainbow, we could see that each shade was carefully placed on individual slices of chashu roast pork, which were then placed on a mound of crisp vegetables to keep the rainbow uniformly in place.

This construction ensures the colours don’t seep out into the broth and merge together, giving customers plenty of time to snap photos of the rainbow and share them on social media.

While some online commenters have likened the look of the rainbow to paint, it’s actually entirely edible and filled with flavour as it’s made with coloured cheese fondue sauce. It’s served generously too, to add a good hit of cheesy umami flavour to the ramen.

Lifting the slices of the rainbow up to the light, they did actually look like glistening strips of paint. Then the Rainbow song began playing in our heads.

▼ Red and yellow and…

▼ Pink and green…

▼ Purple and orange and blue…I can eat a rainbow…eat a rainbow…eat a rainbow too.

The strips of pork weren’t as uniform as the colours of the rainbow, ranging from thin to thick, but we weren’t here for uniformity. We were here for eating, and the noodles were satisfyingly thick and chewy, with a texture that wasn’t too soft nor too firm.

▼ These were juuuuust right.

The broth uses a miso base, popular in the chain’s home prefecture of Hokkaido, with the addition of curry to give it a spicy punch that’s beautifully offset by the creamy cheese. The entire combination works brilliantly together, and far from being a gimmicky dish, this is actually a lip-smackingly delicious bowl of ramen, clearly designed with careful attention to detail.

▼ The only negative thing we could say about this happy meal was that the rainbow inevitably disappears as you eat it.

After finishing our colourful meal, we vowed to continue chasing rainbows in future, and if you’d like to chase them too, you might want to check the details at your nearest Dosanko branch before you visit. Because, like rainbows themselves, they’re not all the same and may be appearing at different times of day and in different numbers.

The Happy Rainbow Ramen is available at Dosanko branches and its sister restaurants in Tokyo (Dosanko Otemachi, Misozen Marunouchi, Dosanko Shin Kiba), Chiba (Dosanko Yachiyodai), Yamagata (Dosanko x Toritestu Tamahoidaimae) and Aichi (Dosanko Shimomaezu), priced at 1,280 yen (US$12.20).

Related: Dosanko location finder
Photos © SoraNews24
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