Thursday, August 13, 2020

丸星ラーメン (Maruboshi in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture)

丸星中華そばセンター 本店

A ramen truck-stop open 24 hours a day since 1958. This is the stuff of legends. This is Maruboshi.

Maruboshi lies along National Route 3 in the central city of Kurume. An hour south of Hakata and two hours north of Kumamoto make this a common stop along the transport corridor of Kyushu. Maruboshi's parking lot is about 20 times larger than the shop itself, which is already quite massive with a whopping 95 seats. There were six or seven big-rigs parked in the big-rig-only section.

Photos from the decades adorn the walls. So many smiling faces.

The ramen here isn't for everyone, but it is perfect for me. You won't find tare made from specialty soy sauce sourced from the mountains of Wakayama[citation needed]. There is probably a mountain of Ajinomoto MSG in the final product[citation needed]. There are no fancy toppings and the shop has definitely never seen a truffle[citation needed]. It's a different kind of kodawari.

Bowls are only 450 yen, up from 400 in the past. Historically, Kyushu has been the home of budget ramen, with yatai food stalls and brick-and-mortar shops alike rarely breaking 500 yen.

Maido arigatogozaimasu. Thank you every time. Maruboshi is possibly a though one to make it to, and there are other shops in Kurume to hit up, but I really think you should try. This is ramen roots, the kind of place that shaped the ramen landscape into what it is today.

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