Is Kyoto ramen shop Vegan Ramen UZU any good? Is it more than just a light show? Here's a ramen eaters take!
Vegan Ramen UZU - Big Recognition
As part of the Bib Gourmand Guide, Vegan Ramen UZU Kyoto has been recognized by Michelin. We'll get to the restaurant's Michelin-worthy ramen in a moment.
UZU isn't your typical restaurant. They play modern music in sync with ink brush art that moves. teamLab is the one behind this gorgeous digital art. It all makes for a truly immersive experience.
But most importantly, how good is the ramen? Let's zoom in!
Vegan Shoyu Ramen (Koikake)
The shoyu ramen is appropriately their signature dish. From Tokyo to Kyoto, shoyu (soy sauce) is king - even as a seasoning for ramen.
This ramen employs a sweet-tasting shoyu, the Inoue brand. It and aroma oils hold up a deeply flavored vegan soup, one that's boiled for 12 hours. This soup is kelp from Raus, shiitake mushrooms, and assorted vegetables.
While on the lighter side, it has a an oily richness that will almost make you forget it's vegan. The fresh tomato in the middle adds sourness and acidity while the negi (spring onions) on top of it provide sweetness.
The medium-thick noodles that accompany the soup are made with Hokkaido wheat flour and whole wheat flour from Miyazaki.
In summary, this shoyu ramen is a fantastic bowl, regardless of whether you're vegan or not.
Spicy Miso Ramen (Yamabuki)
The spicy miso ramen, however, steals the show. Besides being nuttier, the miso seasoning has a more powerful flavor than the shoyu. The soup is further bolstered by chili bean sauce and white sesame paste.
These elements make the soup spicy but mellow at the same time. It's delightfully delicious. In place of the tomato is a boiled onion, which is a welcome source of sweetness.
In the spicy miso ramen, the noodles are much thicker and flatter. They're a perfect match for the thicker, punchier soup.
I believe this is one of the best examples of spicy miso ramen in Kyoto.
Worth The Hype?
With the chic interior and modern approach, it's easy to forget that you're at a ramen restaurant.
But make no mistake. Vegan Ramen UZU Kyoto is a ramen restaurant, and a fantastic one at that.