The certification program of Japanese Food and Ingredient Supporter Stores Overseas
Interview of Suppoter Stores Ramen Misoya Milano
Traditional and Authentic Miso Ramen Noodles Made with Original Blends of Miso Varieties from Various Miso Breweries around Japan
Milan / Italy
Enjoy authentic miso ramen noodles in a stylish space
In December 2016, Ramen Misoya Milano opened on Via Solferino, a fashionable street lined with stylish boutiques in Milan. It is the first Ramen Misoya restaurant in Europe. Ramen Misoya is an overseas brand of Try International Inc., which, based in Chiba City, Japan, conducts franchise business focusing on ramen noodles in soup flavored with miso (fermented soybean paste). Using traditional miso imported from Japan as an appealing feature, the restaurant has been becoming popular among Milanese against the backdrop of the recent ramen boom. Born to a family of miso brewers, Try International President Fumiyuki Tadokoro has a total mastery of the essence of miso. To share with people around the world the delicious flavor and goodness to health of miso, a traditional Japanese fermented food, since 2003 the company has continuously increased the number of its restaurants inside and outside Japan under the motto: “Miso is a treasure of Japanese.”
The restaurant in Milan executes the strategy of using only two miso varieties carefully selected from a wide range: mild-flavored Tokyo miso and Hokkaido miso with plenty of body. You can enjoy customizing your ramen noodles as you like by adding toppings, such as slices of roast pork, boiled eggs seasoned in soy sauce and butter. The restaurant also serves various dishes unique to a miso specialty restaurant, including boiled vegetables and chilled tofu topped with original miso sauce. Such dishes have attracted more and more fans.
Tokyo Miso Ramen is the most popular dish
Ramen Misoya Milano uses beautifully designed bowls, which are tailored to the taste of Italian guests. Bowls luxuriously decorated in gold are used to serve the Tokyo Miso Ramen, while bowls decorated in silver, which represents snow in Hokkaido, are used to serve the Hokkaido Miso Ramen.
The Tokyo Miso Ramen, which is the most popular dish at the restaurant, is served in soup that combines the company’s original blend of Tokyo miso and rich-flavored broth of long boiled chicken and pork bones, as well as kelp stock. The particularly popular Tokyo Miso Special Ramen is topped with nori seaweed, slices of miso-pickled roast pork, slices of miso-pickled boiled egg, minced meat, Chinese bamboo shoots, green onion, bean sprouts, and more. Among them, roast pork, boiled egg and minced meat are seasoned uniquely with original miso. The combination of miso-flavored soup and these miso-seasoned toppings produces a synergetic effect on the overall flavor of the dish. Miso-pickled roast pork, which is the most popular optional topping, is prepared by pickling a chunk of pork overnight in original miso blended by President Tadokoro and slicing and roasting it immediately before serving it. This method enables guests to savor the meat in its best condition. Gyoza dumplings are handmade with skins produced in Japan. Wrapped with thin skins, which are chewy inside and crispy outside, gyoza dumplings are the best-selling side dish.
Healthy vegetarian ramen is also rapidly coming into vogue
You can choose to add either Tokyo miso or Hokkaido miso to stock made only with kelp. The ramen pictured is served in full-body Hokkaido miso soup. The toppings are potato fries, which are associated with potato as a specialty product of Hokkaido, corn, Chinese bamboo shoots, and vegetables familiar to Italians, such as eggplant and zucchini. Such plenty of toppings must satisfy you.
The restaurant also serves a healthy ramen originated for Milanese: the Miso Tomato Ramen, which features a combination of tomato as a representative ingredient of Italian cuisine and miso. You may be surprised at the combination, but it adds extra layers of flavors to the ramen.
Beer is a staple accompaniment to ramen noodles. In Milan too, the mainstream way of savoring a ramen is having it with a Japanese brand beer. However, an increasing number of guests have recently begun to order sake and some of them have begun to enjoy atsuan (hot sake).
Mr. Yoshikazu Takahashi runs the restaurant taking advantage of his long experience in living in Italy
The manager of the restaurant is Mr. Yoshikazu Takahashi, who has long worked in the apparel industry in Florence and is very familiar with Italian society. He says, “Since our restaurant is located near the Chinatown, most of our guests were Asian people, including Japanese and Chinese people, soon after the restaurant opened. But Italian guests have increased in number, accounting for about 70% of our guests now.” He recognizes that Ramen Misoya’s miso ramen noodles have become well-known to Milanese.
Nevertheless, it still seems to be time to have Italians know some about miso. It is a reality that many Italians know nothing about miso. Although the menu explains about miso, the restaurant service staff sometimes have to explain to guests how miso tastes and take miso samples for tasting to their table before they select a kind of miso to be added to their ramen. This thorough way of having Italian guests know about miso helps create the friendly atmosphere of the restaurant.
Moreover, it seems that most Italians feel uncomfortable about the unique Japanese way of eating noodles by slurping them. Even if the staff serve ramen noodles hot, Italians have them after they cool down. Therefore, it takes a long time for Italians to finish their bowl of ramen. However, smile-provoking scenes have recently often been witnessed at the restaurant, where guests familiar with Japanese culture teach their accompanying friends how to slurp noodles appropriately. Mr. Takahashi states with joy, "Although it takes a long time for them to finish a bowl, a very high percentage of guests completely eat their bowl of ramen. We often find that, after a guest finishes a bowl, no drop of soup falls from it even if it is inverted.”
This spring, the restaurant will renew its interior design and lineup of dishes to continue changing so that guests can enjoy themselves there more fully and that the restaurant will fit in better with the atmosphere of the neighborhood.