On Sunday 17 February 2019 Lazy Penguin and I visited the first Amsterdam Ramen Festival and we enjoyed all kinds of ramen and Japanese food. Here is a recap video of the festival.
Since Lazy Penguin didn’t talk much about the food in the video, he will tell you all about it here.
Lazy Penguin’s story…
During a festival as packed as this one, it’s easy to get lost in all the impressions and impulses that get thrown at you. With more than ten different ramens to try and other Japanese treats to boot, it’s difficult to get a sense of it all. Luckily, Lazy Pig and I got help from Lazy Sloth and Lazy Giraffe, who helped with both the tasting and bringing more different kinds of ramen into our belly. Together, we conquered the Ramen Festival. Without further ado, my verdict on all the things we tried:
Rich Chicken Shoyu Ramen. Probably my favourite ramen of the festival. Full-flavoured, creamy broth. Juicy chicken and firm, chewy noodles.
Duck Ramen. The duck was tasty and the noodles were great, but the broth itself was a little lacking in umami flavours.
TantanMen. This dish was surprisingly creamy and tasted great, packed with umami flavours without using meat. It doesn’t really taste like traditional TanTanMen, though.
Karaage. It had a nice crunch and chicken flavour, but it was a tad dry and it didn’t wow me like great karaage can.
Spicy Vatten ramen. Although I can eat spicy ramen, it normally doesn’t have my preference. For this ramen, I can make an exception. Full of flavours, creamy and (the good kind of) oily. The spiciness really adds something here. Downside was that the broth was too spicy to drink.
Ramen burger. I applaud the effort of making something original and the ramen buns were good! They had a nice chew and interesting mouthfeel because the bun disintegrates into normal noodles as you chew, which gives you this interesting texture with the meat. The burger meat was just okay though, it was a bit overcooked and missed some seasoning, making it taste a little bland. The sauce was nice, but almost overshadowed the taste of the beef. My advice: more salt and pepper on the burger, less sauce.
Tonkotsu ramen. Good noodles and toppings, below average soup 🙁 The soup wasn’t creamy, but more shoyu-like? I’m not sure if the broth was made with pig bones at all, because it was so clear. Maybe I had too high expectations, because Tonkotsu is my personal favourite ramen. Their vegan Kotteri ramen, however…
Vegan Kotteri ramen. This was my biggest surprise of the festival. My first time trying Kotteri ramen, and oh so creamy! I don’t know how they made it that creamy without using bones or cream, but I do know that the eggplant and spinach made for an awesome taste-experience.
Okonomiyaki. Yes. Whatever your question about this okonomiyaki is, my answer is yes. What is okonomiyaki? Yes. Was it good? Yes. Should I eat it? YES. What should I do if I don’t like my studies or work and feel like everything I do doesn’t add any value to the world and my life is worthless? Eat okonomiyaki.
Other Lazy verdicts:
Lazy Pig: My favourite was the Rich Chicken Shoyu. So creamy and flavourful soup.
Lazy Giraffe: I liked the Spicy Vatten ramen the most because of the richness of the broth and the right amount of spiciness.
So there you have it! If you couldn’t make it to the festival yourself, I hope this taste-impression will have you mouth-watering and floating in ramen heaven.
Thank you bySam.nl for organizing this big event! Hopefully it will be a yearly thing.