I came to know about this restaurant by chance, called Ramen Kai Kobe in front of JR Kobe Station. It seems that the owner is a graduate of the famous Menya Ki in Osaka. I checked the website of Menya Ki, and it is true that Ramen Kai is introduced as a “graduate’s independent restaurant. If that is the case, the taste of the ramen is already as good as guaranteed.
One day when I just had some business in Kobe, it turned out that I could get to the restaurant at just the right time, and with the help of Google Maps, I arrived at JR Kobe Station at around 11:30. It was almost time for businessmen to start their lunch, and I walked toward the restaurant, prepared for some waiting time…
The two stores are connected and the space is quite spacious for a ramen shop… Ramen Kai Kobe is a store like this…
By the time I arrived at Ramen Kai Kobe, there was no line at the store. I had heard that there was a huge line for the restaurant, but this was honestly surprising. However, around 12:00 p.m. when I left the restaurant, customers started to gather at a very fast pace, so I guess this was simply because I arrived before the real lunch time.
That aside, I was lucky to get in without a wait, but it took me a bit of time to enter the restaurant. The entrance to the restaurant is a bit confusing. The signboard of the restaurant is not attached to one side of the building. Moreover, the appearance of the store on the left and the store on the right are completely different… The store on the right is definitely a ramen shop, but I thought the store on the left was a casual French restaurant or something at first.
The actual appearance of the restaurant is shown in the image pasted at the end of this article, so please refer to it later. What you need to be careful of is that when entering and exiting the restaurant, you enter through the door on the left side. This is especially important when you are visiting the restaurant for the first time. When you enter the restaurant, there is a ticket vending machine in front of you, where you purchase your meal ticket before entering.
So while the exterior of the restaurant was a source of confusion, once inside, there is a spacious area for two restaurants. Ramen Kai Kobe’s main restaurant has only 16 counter seats. In addition to the 7 counter seats along the kitchen in the back, there are 9 independent U-shaped counter seats on the left side of the restaurant space. The U-shaped counter side in particular has quite a bit of extra space, so much so that even if I brought in a large suitcase, it would be totally accommodated. I thought to myself, “If that’s the case, why don’t they make tables for groups of customers? I thought to myself, “Why not have tables for groups?
Tonkeibushi Ramen: The signature dish of Ramen Kai Kobe, and after trying it…
Anyway, what I ordered at Ramen Kai Kobe this time was Tonkeibushi Ramen (900 yen including tax), which I found in the upper left area of the ticket machine. The most popular menu item at this restaurant seems to be tsukemen (tsukemen) (priced from 900 yen including tax), but judging from the position of the button on the ticket machine, I think the restaurant would like more customers to eat this pork and chicken broth ramen….
After handing the ticket to the waiter, it took about 5 minutes to receive the bowl of Pork Chicken Soup Ramen.
It looks very simple without any additional toppings. There are two pieces of chashu pork and one piece of chicken, but the pork one looks more like stewed meat than chashu pork.
The soup is thick but smooth on the tongue, and the natural pork and chicken flavors and the aroma of the kusubi type spread out from there. The umami is not simply “pork + chicken + seafood,” but it has a complex flavor. In a good sense, it makes you think, “Hmmm, this is….
If you read the “Menu Introduction” provided on the counter, you can see that they put a lot of effort into making this soup. I was a bit taken aback by the fact that it costs 900 yen for a bowl of ramen, even though so much work has gone into it. Yes, and this soup has a strong flavor, but it is not at all heavy. It does not make you tired of eating at all, and you can finish every last drop of it. It is a completely chemical-free soup, so it is also very healthy for your body.
The noodles are lightly frizzled, low-moisture, medium-fine noodles. Since the soup is originally thickened, there is no problem in absorbing the soup. The noodles are boiled quite hard so that you can enjoy the chewy texture and spread the remaining aroma of the soup in your nose even after it slides down your throat.
Now, the two pieces of chashu pork you have been waiting for. The pork chashu, which looks like a stewed dish, is made from pork cartilage that has been slow-cooked until tender. When you put it in your mouth, it is really melt-in-your-mouth tender. It is as if I could melt in my mouth as it is. I don’t remember pork cartilage pork chashu ever being made before… It must have taken a lot of time and effort to prepare. Of course, the chicken breast chashu was moist and perfect as well.
After trying Ramen Kai Kobe’s pork-chicken-bone ramen like this, I thought to myself, “Why isn’t this the most popular?” I love this flavor. I love this flavor. The taste is the same, but I feel that it is very carefully made in all the important parts. I wonder if this is a lesson from Menya Teru, where I trained… but I felt that there was a straight line of “keeping what needs to be kept” without being too eccentric.
I wonder what kind of tsukemen (tsukemen noodles) that customers rate more highly than this pork-chicken-bushi ramen would be like? It is obvious that there is no such thing as “bad” tsukemen, since it is made by the owner of Menya Teru, but… if I go to the restaurant again, I will probably have tsukemen then. No, but I would like to repeat the pork-chicken-bushi ramen I had this time… Hmmm, I’m at a loss…
Rice dishes are reasonable at lunch time…Ramen Kai Kobe is a 3-minute walk from Kobe Station on the JR Kobe Line, the closest station to the restaurant.
Ramen Kai Kobe offers a side menu of rice dishes at lunchtime for a reasonable price. According to the restaurant’s ticket machine…
The mayo cartilage bowl and chicken bowl in the bottom column “Lunch Rice” are 220 yen each. Compared to the buttons in the “Rice for Evening” column to the right of that, they are 100 yen cheaper each. With prices like these, you can easily add-on even when you are left feeling a little unsatisfied with ramen or tsukemen. When you need a gutsy nutritional boost for your afternoon’s work, consider a set of these bargain rice bowls, too.
Now, here are the details of the restaurant. Check here for store data…
Ramen Kai Kobe Out of 5
Address: Miyakita Building, 4-4-5 Aioi-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0025, Japan
Phone number: Not open to the public
Business hours: 11:00-14:00, 18:00-20:00 (open only for lunch on Sundays)
Closed: Wednesdays and national holidays
Parking: Not available
Credit card payment: Not accepted (meal ticket system)
From Kobe Municipal Subway Harborland Station, it takes only 4 minutes on foot.
P.S. If you are looking for delicious ramen shop in Hyogo, please drop by this article…