Favorite Ramen in Okayama: Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen Bari

bari_featured_image

Ni hao ma! It’s Mr. Wada back on duty. I would like to share one of our food trips at a Tonkotsu ramen restaurant in Okayama this time.

About Tonkotsu Ramen

As mentioned in the previous entry, Tonkotsu ramen is known that it is from Hakata in Fukuoka Prefecture.

Types of Japanese Ramen: Find Your Favorite

By the way, many people think Hakata is a capital of Fukuoka. Actually, it’s the other way around. Just like Nagoya City in Aichi Prefecture. Confusing, right? If people think Toronto and New York are the capital cities….OK, better stop before I go too far. Anyway, as the store’s name is “Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen Bari,” it sounds quite promising for me. Let’s take a look.

Enter the Bari Restaurant

Cool Wadaiko (Japanese drums) and Shamisen (Japanese guitar) music welcome you as you enter. It would remind me of Naruto for some reason (you may understand why if you have watched it).

bari_front
Welcome to Bari!

Order Your Ramen

I recommend regular Bari Tonkotsu Ramen (680 yen),  Bari Kaori-Men looks good too though (with different spices, I think). I normally get the regular one.

And here’s another thing you need to consider – hardness of the noodles.

hardness_of_noodles
(From left) raw, super hard, very hard (Bari kata), hard, normal, soft

 

“What the hell?” Well, it’s nothing serious. Get futsu (normal), if you aren’t sure. I prefer very hard, so I’d say “Bari Kata.” Now you are getting an idea what Bari is right? Most probably Bari is a word from Hakata dialect which means “very” (I just realized it actually sounds like VERY…). However, it is used in other directs as well today. Anyway, my choice of Bari-Kata is “very hard” but it won’t be too hard after being soaked in soup for a minute.

Grab the Side Dishes!

Alright, while waiting shall we grab side dishes? Free stuff! I love this bean sprouts. Spicy but yummy. BUT I feel it gets spicier and spicier every time we come here. I kinda sense that it’s because we’ve had it too much…(sometimes we finish two bowls! Hehe). Oh c’mon! It’s only bean sprouts.

bean_sprout
Very addictive.

 

side_dishes
Other side dishes.

 

Finally, Ramen has come

Here comes, my Ramen. Bon appetit. To be frank I’m not good at having food while it’s super hot. I rather sip little by little so I don’t get my tongue burned….not manly? Shut up. I don’t like to or can’t do the way other Japanese have noodles anyway.

bari_ramen
A pic of a woman behind is a little disturbing but never mind…

 

Would you like to have a Kaedama?

This place offers a free Kaedama for each customer. Kaedama means extra noodles. Normally kaedama costs you like 100 yen at other ramen places. How to get one is the same way as we order food. Tell the staff, “Kaedama kudasai” and he/she will ask you for hardness (again!). I’d say Bari-Kata, he/she soon will bring you extra noodles on a plate. Now I’ve got another ramen to go!

Kaedama
Kaedama please!

 

Lastly

Burp. I’m totally done. Ramen isn’t the healthiest food ever, though we should treat ourselves once in a while. It shouldn’t be bad right?

By the way, Bari has such a cool website. On the top page you can play with ramen and toppings! Hehe.
Hataka Tonkotsu Bari Official Website (In Japanese only)

Hakata Tonkotsu Bari (Nakasendou, Okayama city)

Hakata Tonkotsu Bari (downtown, Okayama)

Alright, we will keep updating and introduce you more foods.
See you around!

bari_shio
Mrs. Wada had this Bari shio ramen.


Types of Japanese Ramen: Find Your Favorite

bari_ramen

Hi there, it’s Mr. Wada on duty. Once in a while I really crave for noodles such as ramen. Do you like ramen? Yeah, I do. In fact, I used to have ramen very often on the way home from high school.

What is Japanese Ramen like?

Ramen has been one of the most popular Japanese foods (I’m not talking about origins here). Many people are addicted to it and always looking for better ones. Since it has been so much competitive, you may see ramen restaurants on every corner in big cities like Tokyo.

What are the Differences?

When it comes to having ramen, you realize there are different ramen, but you aren’t sure what the differences are. Let’s take a look and hopefully this would be the first step for you to discover your favorite ramen!

Types of Japanese Ramen Soups

Basically there are four types of soups.

Shoyu (Soy Sauce)

It has its origin in Tokyo and from since then it has become standard of ramen. It’s available anywhere in Japan. As it tastes very simple, having shoyu ramen would be the easiest way to tell if a store serves good ramen.

syoyu_ramen

That’s standard!

Miso

Hokkaido Ramen represents Miso Ramen. It’s miso-based soup…I suppose I don’t need to explain what miso is right? It’s rather rare to see it lately. It tastes mild and sorta light, easy in other words.

miso_ramen

Miso isn’t only for Miso soup!

Shio (Salt)

Hokkaido is also known for Shio Ramen, plus as rare as Miso Ramen compared to Shoyu and Tonkotsu Ramen. Though there are some restaurants that only serve Shio Ramen. Light and easy soup.

shio_ramen

(Photo credit: stu_spivack)

Tonkotsu (Pork)

It seems to be the most popular ramen in Japan. Its rich pork broth gives it great flavor. Hakata (Fukuoka Prefecture) ramen represents Tonkotsu Ramen. However, we see it anywhere in Japan today. I personally prefer this Tonkotsu Ramen to others.

Tonkotsu_ramen

Looks yummy!

bari_ramen

This is my favorite Bari Ramen in Okayama city.

Extra: Jiro-kei (Jiro-style)

Ramen Jiro is one of the most popular ramen resutaurants in Tokyo where it serves a new type of ramen (that’s what people say). It comes with tons of veggies, garlic, super rich soup (Tonkotsu-based, I think), and thick noodles. Many people (especially men) are addicted to it. After Ramen Jiro, any ramen alike is called Jiro-Kei (Jiro family/style), and fans of Ramen Jiro are called Jirolian(s). I’ve tried it but failed (couldn’t finish). Damn, I’m disqualified to be a Jirolian!

ramen_jiro

(Photo credit: KID the Euforia)


Overwhelming.

Lastly

There are even more new types of ramen. Tsukemen (Dipping Ramen) has been next-classic already. Perhaps you might want to try this out also.

Tsukemen

It’s all yummy, though it’s evil for having it in the middle of the night…but no worries, there is always a way out by Mrs. Wada’s method.

 

Find your favorite Ramen and please share with me! Hmmm, now I’m craving for some noodles. See you around!

ramen_noren

(Photo credit: M Murakami)

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Guide to Sushi Restaurant in Japan
A Guide To Self-Service Udon Restaurant