Is Jiro-style supermarket takeaway ramen as good as the real deal?


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

Our Japanese-speaking reporter Masanuki Sunakom wasn’t particularly in the mood for ramen when he spotted the last bowl Jiro-style ramen at his local Seisen Ichiba Top supermarket. However, the prospect of getting the last bowl of anything added to his excitement, so he decided to take it home.

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

When he got home, he put it in the microwave for seven minutes. Soon his nose was greeted by the pungent smell of garlic. In fact, the whole room was quickly absorbed by it.

The smell was so intense that Masanuki wondered for a moment if this ramen was really meant to be eaten in a house without an industrial-powered fan on site. He carefully lifted the lid to make it easier to see thick noodles, pieces of roast pork, and heaps of garlic, and for the first time he saw bean sprouts and cabbage. The noodles were so thick that they resembled Mushashino-style udon, famous in Saitama Prefecture.

After taking a bite, he was pleasantly surprised by the mix of textures in his mouth. After a while, the taste of Jiro’s famous garlic also hit his taste buds. Despite the intense smell, the taste was actually only moderately strong.

The milder nature was probably a good thing for the taste to appeal to the palates of all sorts of people who shop at the supermarket. It’s great for those who want to try Jiro-style ramen for the first time.

On the other hand, the delicate flavor can make you feel a little disappointed after taking in the strong aroma. As such, Masanuki might not recommend this supermarket meal to anyone who wholeheartedly craves a bowl of fresh, wholesome Ramen Jiro. To give an analogy for baseball fans like him, it was as if the outfield team were backing up against the wall in anticipation of a slugger’s home run, but instead the batter hit a solid base.

Perhaps the bowl’s biggest selling point was the fact that it lived up to its claim of being a generous filling – well above and beyond its 540 yen price tag. He predicts that even people with particularly healthful appetites will finish eating and feel very satisfied with its volume and pork cuts.

Although the bowl from the supermarket is nothing like the fresh ramen served at Ramen Jiro, there is still a lot to like about it. It’s a bit funny that its huge size still can’t match the Mega Bento in the Lopia Supermarket.

Connected with: Top Seisen Ichiba (Mammy Mart)
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