This is the third of five ramen blogs from my recent adventures in Japan and this time coming at you from Kyoto.
Kyoto is one of Japan’s oldest cities, chosen in 794 as the seat of the emperor, where they ruled from for eleven centuries until 1869. The Gion district originated to provide entertainment for travellers and visitors and became the most well-known geisha (or the local term geiko) district in all of Japan.
However, centuries of history and the refined elegance of the geisha are spared from Ramen Miyako. This place is lively, edgy and loud and I loved it!
This restaurant was the selection of a friend, who had found it online after the original place that we wanted to visit was closed. Sometimes those by-the-seat-of-your-pants choices can be terrible, but sometimes they really come up with the goods.
We arrived separately and as I was running slightly late the starters had already been ordered for me by the time I arrived. Something is thrilling about a blind date with an appetiser no knowing what might arrive. I was delighted when a feast of edamame, chicken karaage, pork gyoza and fried rice was placed on the table. Each table also had a seemingly bottomless kettle of sweetened cold tea.
Three of us chose the standout item on the menu, the chasu pork belly, which looked almost barbequed and had a rich roasted flavour. You can’t quite make it out from the photo, but there were small globules of fat floating in the broth. That could put me off, but they melted instantly in your mouth and added wonderful smoothness. The fourth bowl was a spicy veggie ramen (to which a side of pork was added!). If I had one note, it would be that there could have been a whole egg and that they had been perhaps a little too generous with the fistful of spring onion on top of the bowl.
In the rush to get to the restaurant we hadn’t realised that it was cash only, so luckily one of our group was able to cover it for everyone. If you find yourself wandering around Gion, then take a wander into Ramen Miyako, and if you get to the bottom of why there are loads of post-it notes on the walls let me know!