Ramen is becoming BIG in Milan. And when I say big, I mean it. Restaurants serving the popular Japanese soup are popping out like mushrooms after rain.
Milan is a city that follows the trends of the big international metropolis and dictate those for the rest of the peninsula, and ramen is the big culinary trend of the moment.
Do not take me wrong... I love it but I bear in mind the risk of popular forms of dining turning into cash-cow businesses, driven solely by lucrative interests.
After reading several reviews, we decided to try Ryukishin, acclaimed as one of the best openings in town, with its long tradition - the first salt ramen restaurant was opened in Osaka in 2001 - and the success of the spot restaurant during Expo 2015.
The restaurant, in its design, reminds of the original Japanese iconography with wooden decor and alternated red and black walls but food is far from the 'far east one'.
The paitan ramen is made with a good chicken based broth, slightly creamy (as I like it), but a bit too delicate and very little playful in taste, including the 'quite anonymous' pork slices served on top.
On top of that, what I really minded of the place was the overall lack of dedication: the cook (Italian) was constantly checking a timer for the noodles cooking and most importantly - from what I could observe from my privileged counter position - was touching everything with bare hands, from eggs to noodles to pork slices.
Too many faults for a place candidate to be one of the best representative of the ramen culture in Milan. Signs that Ryukishin is falling in the trap?