Michelin Star Instant Ramen! This phrase might have sounded crazy not too long ago. But let’s just say that ramen has come a long way.
To be fair, the instant ramen I’m talking about doesn’t itself have a Michelin star. But the shop that it’s from, Nakiryu, certainly does. Consider this my review of Nakiryu’s official instant ramen. Let’s see if it lives up to the hype.
Michelin Star Ramen – The Story
Nakiryu is one of two ramen shops in Tokyo to be the proud owner of a Michelin star. This happened in 2017. But Nakiryu had long lines well before that shiny star. There are just more non-Japanese visiting after the star.
Nakiryu has several ramen to choose from. But their ace in the hole is a tantanmen – a spicy variety of ramen. Their tantanmen is next level, featuring a multiple layered soup bursting with flavors.
There’s chili oil spice, sesame paste nuttiness, sourness from black vinegar and apple vinegar, richness from whole chickens and beef bones – the list goes on and on. The noodles and toppings are understandably top-notch too.
How Does the Instant Ramen Compare?
Let’s get right to it. You can already see that the instant version does a good job of mimicking the actual tantanmen at Nakiryu…at least in terms of appearance. But how does the taste compare?
Obviously there’s nothing like eating fresh ramen at a ramen shop. But it’s crazy how close Nakiryu’s instant ramen is to their actual ramen. It comes with 3 packets – 2 of them are for the soup (heated on top of the lid below).
Like with a lot of “premium” instant ramen these days, seasoning, soup, and toppings are properly separated in packets. In the case of Nakiryu, the sesame paste (red packet) is separate from the soup itself (green packet).
This better ensures the same delicious layers of flavor are there. The thin noodles are properly springy and aren’t flash-fried either. This means less fat content and a much more natural taste. Dried noodles have come a long way!
You could say the same about dried toppings. This bowl features the same minced pork and green spring onions you get at their restaurant. They are the perfect companion to the noodles and soup.
In summary, Nakiryu and Nissin (the noodle company) knocked this one out of the park. Two thumbs up. You might not be able to eat at Nakiryu every week. But you can certainly eat Nakiryu’s instant ramen every week!