- Name: KÜCHE
- Cuisine: Ramen, tsukemen
- Soup base
- Thick こってり
- Thick, straight
- Soup base
- Cost: ¥ (~¥1,000)
- Bargain: Average
- Payment: Cash
- Size: Small; seats 13
- Wait: 20+ mins for seat; 30+ mins for order
- Area: Higashiyodogawa-ku, Osaka City
- Station: Kamishinjo Station
I found this place from a food magazine. What caught my eye was their ramen looked really unique. The place is quite small. A couple of tables and counter seats. The first hint that this isn’t your typical ramen place is the decor. The polished wood panels and brightly lit interior gives it a relatively chic and modern feel. Since it is small and popular, there’s usually a queue outside. Be ready to wait at least 20-30 minutes to get a seat.
They have a very small menu ― ramen, tsukemen, and a couple of side dishes ― because they believe in quality over quantity. I tried their tsukemen KURO (¥880) plus extra noodles (¥200) since I was very hungry that night. I usually don’t like tsukemen (dipping noodles) that much because the ones I’ve tried are a little fishy because their broth uses too much bonito flakes or dried sardines IMHO. However, since it’s KÜCHE‘s signature dish, I had to try it.
Usually, ramen is considered “fast food.” However, at KÜCHE, it’s slow food. It’s not because of poor service or anything, but the chef takes his time preparing each dish. For the tsukmen‘s broth, he scooped up a couple of ladles of the broth and a ladle of congealed meat into a pot, blasted the heat, and let it boil away for 20? minutes to reduce it to a thick concentrate.
My tsukemen finally came about 30 minutes later. The toppings were simple (half a runny egg, some daikon sprouts, and a slice of flame-kissed chashu that he charred with a torch) and the presentation, very modern.
The noodles were big and thick, not your normal ramen-sized noodles. The extra noodles I ordered were a lot of noodles. Even though I was very hungry, I was full before even getting close to finishing all my noodles. I recommend just getting normal. The dipping broth was very thick. I picked up some of the thick noodles with my chopsticks, dipped them into the brown broth, and slurped it down, not sure what to expect. It was amazing. It was nothing like I expected. It was not your traditional tsukemen. The broth was more like a thick savory curry? pork and onion stew with lots of pieces of tender shredded pork. Usually, I would complain if I saw only one slice of chashu because I’d feel they’re skimping me on the meat. However, there was a lot of meat (shredded pork) in the dipping broth/stew. The light and fresh daikon sprouts added a nice contrast to the thick savory dipping broth.
It was so different. I wanted shake the chef’s hand. I was very pleasantly surprised and impressed with his innovation.
When I came back again a month later, I also ordered the grilled chicken. Since I really enjoyed the chef’s unique tsukemen, I wanted to see his take on grilled chicken. The grilled chicken came topped with a mountain of bean sprouts. The sauce wasn’t the typical Japanese teriyaki sauce or whatnot, but a … balsamic vinegar or worcestershire sauce or something based sauce. It was a flavor I’ve tasted before but couldn’t put my finger on it. I love his modern fusion take on classic Japanese dishes. However, this time, I felt that the tsukemen was a tad saltier than I remembered.
TL;DR: Unique pork stew-like tsukemen.
Recommend: Highly Recommend
Website: http://www.kuche.jp/ (doesn’t seem to work)
Address: 大阪府 大阪市 西区 京町堀2-12-13