This morning, we took the Hikari Shinkansen from Kobe to Kyoto. After we settled in our Airbnb place in Gion (the famous geisha district in Kyoto), we had Kyoto ramen for lunch!
There are two different types of Kyoto ramen:
Given Kyoto’s cultural reputation, you might expect its ramen to be a rarefied and refined reworking of the humble noodle soup. But the old capital is home to two distinct types of down-home ramen: the thinner assari-kei shoyu ramen, and a thick, gritty chicken-soup kotteri-kei ramen, both of which are referred to as “Kyoto ramen.” The former is a blend of pork and chicken broth, with a dark soy base; the latter is a rich porridge-like soup culled mostly from chicken, topped with spicy bean paste, chives, garlic, and pungent local kujnoegi onions—it’s quite popular with the town’s large student population.
I had the kotteri-kei ramen, while my sister had the assari-kei ramen. Each bowl of ramen was around ¥700.
We also had an order of gyozas with our ramen.
The ramen broths were on the saltier side since the assari-kei is shoyu-based (a type of soy sauce) and the kotteri-kei is bean-based. It was saltier than chasu-based ramen we had in Tokyo. The gyozas actually helped wash some of the saltiness away from my tongue and palate.
You can apparently order your broth consistency to be light, medium, or heavy at this place. We didn’t know then, so maybe I’ll order medium the next time I’m in Kyoto!