RAMEN | 元祖 赤のれん 節ちゃんラーメン (Akanoren)

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Said to be the real local favorite in Fukuoka vs the good old Ippudo and Ichiran frequented by tourists, the deco and ambience of their honten certainly has that air of a historic establishment, with a equally fitting clientele as seen on the day of visit. It was indeed a long overdue visit as the list of ever expanding ‘must go’ ramen places in Fukuoka these days certainly needs a few visits to the city to complete.
Established in 1948 being a joint effort of two Fukuoka classics, with (箱崎)赤のれん’s founder 津田茂氏 taking care of the soup and (馬出)博龍軒’s founder 山平進氏 the noodle, now going into its third generation, this is widely regarded as the old guard of real classic Hakata ramen by the locals. Numbed by the usual Hakata tonkotsu, LG was in for a totally different experience and somehow found one. Basically a tonkotsu shoyu base (and hence the ‘red’ goodwill?), together with the classic ‘flat thin’ noodles, the entire package was a surprisingly hearty yet soothing affair. Again, one has to label it as ‘balanced’ given no particular flavour stood out but the result was very close to an umami, especially on a chilly day when the visit was held.
As in similar Sino-Japanese restos one is supposed to have a plate of fried rice to go with the ramen to complete the experience and it is indeed the standard here for most of their regulars. Not for the health conscious as in most Hakata ramen joints but do prioritise the experience, which is conveniently located at the town centre, to get a good glimpse of the true classic local flavour.

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