Ramen continues to slowly make an impact on the world food scene. According so some (New Yorkers) the trend is huge, but outside of a few major American cities, things are barely crawling. You'll be lucky (or unlucky) if you get a standard business-over-quality style chain. Or, for those living in Frankfurt, Germany, you've got Muku; a solid bowl in the middle of Europe.
The Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum has a great info-graphic devoted to the state of ramen in Europe. Although chain shops still dominate, more and more Japanese-run, Japanese-style shops are popping up. Great news indeed!
So what about Germany?
In typical fashion, they made a fusion bowl, blending Japanese and German culinary aspects. Yes, this is often a little corny, but read on.
The Japanese here is the soup. A rich tonkotsu-shoyu that resembled a Wakayama style, one of the most elusive and delicious types in Japan. Thick and rich, it hits you with an intense impact and follows with a smooth umami aftertaste. I love it. The shop offers a normal, non-Geman-fusion bowl that uses this soup. I'd go for that if I ever make a second trip back.
And the German. German bacon worked very well. Not as tender as your Japanese chashu, but more bacon-y, which can be a very good thing. Next was the German spice mix. Interesting, it added some smoky, herbyness into the mix. Finally came the sauerkraut. I'm not going to lie, it was odd. Though not as odd as you'd expect. Cabbage and vinegar are common ingredients in ramen, but the strength was a little much.
Apologies to my Japan-based readers, Muku had a limited run at the Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum, and are likely long gone by the time this post makes it to the web. They are currently bringing more and more overseas shops in, so I encourage you to head out and see what is on offer.
Check out our video!
Muku's German Site Here
Raumen Museum Site Here