When it comes to ramen, there are many tastes and regional variations whether it be shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), tonkotsu (pork bone broth) in Kyushu or miso ramen which is served up in Hokkaido. On top of that come the crazy novelty ones which include things like cheese, coffee, ice-cream, tequila, kiwi, ham, pizza, sake, pineapple and so on. The kind of things that the true ramen masters would most definitely turn their nose up at!
Surely chocolate ramen is surely a step too far isn’t it? Only one way to find out! I came by this restaurant chain in Shibuya by chance the other day having took a slight detour from my usual cycle route to work in the city. Kourakuen is the name of the restaurant, and in the window I noticed the word チョコレート (chokorēto a.k.a. chocolate!) on one of it’s posters. It couldn’t be could it! Closer inspection proved that it was indeed true. I vowed to return later to sample this dish which has been available for the first two weeks of the month culminating in Valentines Day. What could be more romantic!!
There was a gap in my evening schedule so I returned to the fairly spacious Kourakuen on Dogenzaka street in Shibuya. This was my first time to visit this chain but it won’t be my last as I am keen to try their Onomichi ramen (¥561) which made a lasting impression on me during my trips to this wonderful part of Hiroshima prefecture.
The chocolate ramen (a bargain at ¥561!) is a soy sauce-based soup mixed with cacao oil and a smallish square piece of chocolate which soon melts and permeates deep into the soup. The result is a mix of sweet and savoury flavours which surprises your taste buds. It was way better than expected and the chocolate taste was subtle enough to be noticed but not so distinct that it took the flavour away from the regular ramen. It’s not common (or healthy at all!) to consume all of the soup but I often make exceptions when eating limited edition dishes like this.
Click here to read ‘To The Top Of Japan’s Mainland To Try The Insane Miso Milk Curry Ramen’
Click here to read ‘Dining Out: The “Pie Ramen” Restaurant’
Click here to read ‘Dining Out: The “Blue Ramen” Restaurant’