We find out if this reasonably priced bowl stacks up to the ramen served at popular noodle chain Ramen Jiro.

Our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma wasn’t especially in the mood for ramen when he spotted the very last bowl of Jiro-style ramen at his local Seisen Ichiba Top supermarket. The prospect of scoring the last bowl of anything, however, ramped up his excitement so he decided to take it home.

We say “Jiro-style” ramen because it wasn’t an official product of Tokyo-based ramen chain Ramen Jiro, but rather a Seisen Ichiba Top in-house version inspired by Ramen Jiro being offered for 540 yen (US$3.95). Ramen Jiro’s filling bowls of ramen are known for their rich and salty broth and thick noodles, so Masanuki was curious to see how this take-home version would compare.

Once home, he stuck it in the microwave for seven minutes. His nose was soon greeted by the sharp smell of garlic. Actually, the entire room quickly became engulfed in it.

The smell was so intense that Masanuki wondered for a moment whether this ramen was really meant to be consumed at home without an industrial-strength fan on site. He cautiously lifted the lid to more easily spy the thick noodles, pieces of roast pork, and heaps of garlic, also spotting bean sprouts and cabbage for the first time. The noodles were so thick that they resembled the Mushashino-style udon famous in Saitama Prefecture.

Upon taking a bite, he was pleasantly surprised by the mix of textures within his mouth. After a moment, the taste of the famous Jiro-style garlic also caught up with his taste buds. Despite its intense smell, the flavor was actually only moderately strong.

The milder nature was probably a good thing, so that the flavor would appeal to the palates of all different kinds of people who shop at the supermarket. It’s great for those looking to try Jiro-style ramen for the first time.

On the other hand, the gentle taste might leave you feeling a little disappointed after taking in the strong aroma. Along those lines, Masanuki might not recommend this supermarket meal to anyone who’s wholeheartedly expecting a bowl of fresh, full-fledged Ramen Jiro. To give an analogy for baseball fans like him, it was like the fielding team moving way back to the wall in anticipation of a home run slugger, but the batter hitting a solid base-hit grounder instead.

Probably the bowl’s biggest plus was the fact that it lived up to its claim of being plenty filling–definitely above and beyond its 540-yen price point. He predicts that even people with especially health appetites will finish eating and feel very satisfied with its volume and chunks of pork.

While the supermarket bowl isn’t exactly like the fresh ramen served at Ramen Jiro, there’s still plenty to like about it. It’s kind of funny, though, that its hefty size still can’t hold a candle to supermarket Lopia’s Mega Bento.

Related: Seisen Ichiba Top (Mammy Mart)
All images © SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
[ Read in Japanese ]