Japan Tsu Shin -Ramen Series – RA-MEN BANKARA

Ra-men Bankara ① – It’s The Journey, Not the Destination.

Every journey has a beginning and we must necessarily begin with the signature ramen of Ra-Men Bankara, the aptly named Bankara Original. The broth is a dark Americano like color, indicative of a Tokyo style shoyu Ramen. The noodles are slightly thicker than medium with bite and slipperiness to suit the broth. The toppings are simple, chashu (roast pork), menma(bamboo shoots), wakame(seaweed) and negi (onions). This is so you can customize your ramen with an extensive list of proteins and toppings to suit your palate. This should be your first sip of the broth, which is quite rich but with a lot of umami or body from the soya sauce.

Bankara’s signature protein is their Braised Pork Belly or Buta Kakuni. Long, slow braising renders the belly fat for a fork tender, melt in your mouth experience that briefly saturates the palate with luxuriance before being cleansed with a sip of the shoyu broth.

There is also the Shio Tamago or soft boiled egg with a runny yolk that works as a interesting counterpoint to the Buta Kakuni. Bankara does this staple very well with a firm white and lavalike yolk.

Having had these with the Bankara Original, the next step is definitely to add something called Hizuo which seems to be garlic, onions and spring onions fried with lard! This transforms the Bankara ramen, giving a lot more body and fragrance to noodles. I actually segregated this out onto a smaller bowl to maintain the integrity of my main bowl of broth. I feel this is their most unique topping or condiment and recommend it.

If you thought that you were done with your bowl of ramen, you’d be mistaken because there is yet another variation which is to crush fresh garlic (niniku) in a press into the broth. The Bankara ramen is not just a bowl of noodles but a sequence of taste experiences when you think about it.

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