Viral Cake Ramen in action — an Honest Review and Sincere Shock from a First Timer
The creator of the “Don’t play with food!” program makes his first appearance in the media.
In early 2023, “Cake Ramen” was all over SNS. As the name implies, there is a cake on top of the ramen. Why do they make such a bad dish just to attract temporary customers? I, Nekoda, who am anti-Ramen, went to question the restaurant with a strange humor.
There it is, the “Cake Ramen” signage. A few elderly people pass by, looking at it twice with a “what? It can also be mistaken as a kamaboko or something in this shape.
When you enter, you are greeted with a very cheerful smile and a “Welcome!” and it doesn’t look like they are going to do anything wrong by putting cake on your ramen. The staff at Osha Ramen are generally very nice.
But you can’t miss them! The cake casually placed by the kitchen. It is not a snack for the employees, but the main ingredient that will be served on top of the ramen from now on.
I got a gander at the process of making it. First, the noodles are added to the red soup base, then the vegetables, then the meat, and so on…why not stop there, but at the end, the cake is added with. The strawberries on the cake made it look cute, but it was still ramen.
I had expected this, but the impression in person was not half bad!
Wow. I had imagined it, but seeing the actual ramen in front of me made me smile. The waiter explains with a serious expression on his face, “Please mix well and let the cake be dissolve completely before eating.”
I am a novice, but I don’t have the courage to go ahead and eat it. I fearfully sipped the soup and found it spicy! It’s just plain delicious! The chicken broth is strong and the aroma of sesame oil spreads in your mouth. I wondered if I should transfer the cake to a plate and have it as an after-dinner dessert. That makes no sense.
I must do it quickly or the cake will melt!
I have never experienced such impatience with ramen before. But I am still scared, so I try to eat the cake with chopsticks. Yes, the cream is light and sweet. But no, even if I eat it separately, delicious ramen and refreshing cake, it will still be mixed together, so I resolve myself to disintegrate the cake.
As the cream of the cake dissolved in the soup, it mellowed and added sweetness and richness. The soaked sponge became like fu. But still, the sweetness of the cake and the sourness of the strawberry cream insisted, and there was no sense of unity.
Is this good? As I was eating the cake, the waiter came and said, “You have to mix it more! The sponge must be fully melted as well. So I apologized and said, “Sorry about the ramen! I apologized and stepped out to stir the mess.”
When I tasted the soup again, it was completely emulsified and finally lost its cakey feel. The cream must have melted, but the spiciness is still there. Would you call it a super rich miso ramen? The noodles are thick, not too hard or soft, and have a strong wheat flavor. When I glanced at the kitchen, I found it is “Menya Egbe”. They are good at it!
This ramen is mysterious. As you eat more and more, the sponge and the cream are completely mixed into each other, and the density of the soup increases more and more. Moreover, the sweetness and smell peculiar to the cake that existed at first are not felt at all, and it becomes only “thick sweet and spicy miso soup”. I’ve never had such sweet ramen in Matsuyama, Ehime. It is such a decent ramen taste.
Well now I understand why this menu is called “sweet and spicy MISO” and not “cake ramen”. So the cake is not a topping, but a hidden flavor. Toward the end, I don’t remember tasting any cake in it. It is so ordinary ramen that you would think there was no cake in it. The sweetness is not prominent, and the spiciness, sweetness, and flavor increase while maintaining harmony.
Ha! You finished it!
Wow! If it were Tenichi, the bowl would be so empty you could see the words “We’ll be waiting for you tomorrow”! I was so ready to swear, but I ate the whole bowl! Because it’s delicious.
I know you might say, “Nekoda, you’re writing another lantern article,” but this is just plain delicious ramen. The way to attack it is to take a bite of the cake and ramen first, then crush and mix the cake all at once and eat it. If you are like me, titillatingly mixing and unmixing, the halfway cakey feeling will never go away, and you will be left feeling sick. If you are a scaredy-cat, it seems like a good way to train your mind to be stronger.
I simply had a single-minded desire to make something delicious.
But why did he make such ramen? Franken is run by Gin no Budo, a company that operates several brands, including “Noodle’s Room Kamitora” and “Chicken Soba Zagin. What a corporate-type company! Do not underestimate it.
The company’s director, Kyosuke Uemura, is in charge of developing new menu items for the restaurants. In the past, he had been interviewed about Cake Ramen by another manager, but he decided to come forward to convey the intention of the production to the interviewer. And this FRIDAY Digital is the first time he has appeared in the media. What an honor.
Neko: I hate to put it this way, but I must be a pervert for eating it all up!
Top: No, very few people leave it behind. We developed this ramen in order to make delicious ramen. We have a unique limited edition ramen every three months, and the winter staple is this “sweet and spicy miso. The year before last it was cotton candy, and last year it was soft ice cream.
Neko: Wow, you weren’t aiming for a picture, nor were you kidding!
Ue: We received a lot of criticism on the Internet, and some people even scolded us for desecrating food. But I am not a cook by nature, so I simply thought that if you put cake in ramen, of course it would taste good. I had no doubts.
Cat: How many cups of ramen are served a day?
Kami: About 150 cup s. We have a lot of repeat customers, many of whom are women, and once they try our ramen, they bring someone else with them. It took us a year to develop the soup. The soup is based on chicken stock, and miso, soy bean sauce, gochujang, beef extract, raayu, scallion oil, etc. are added to make it serious.
Cat: Did you choose the cake to go with the ramen as well?
Top：We tasted all kinds of cakes from famous patisseries to cheap ones, and carefully selected cakes that were not too tasty. If the cake is too assertive, it will taste like cake. We also use frozen strawberries instead of fresh ones to balance the sweetness and sourness. The noodles are No. 16 thick noodles with a high water content, and are boiled to the best texture when put in the mouth with the soup.
Neko: You are more serious about pursuing deliciousness than I imagined…!
Top: Of course! Our concept is “a restaurant that makes you want to come back eight times a week,” so in addition to our regular soy sauce, salt, and miso, we aim to have our limited edition ramen in the rotation.
Neko: I was surprised to see that you are much more serious than I expected. Also, all the waitstaff are so fresh and polite like salesmen…
Ue: We wanted to dispel the image of “ramen restaurant = black company. Our ramen is inexpensive, but the cost ratio is extremely high. But we want to serve delicious food, so even if prices soar, we do not cut costs, do not lower employee salaries, and think of ways to make sales elsewhere. If we lower labor costs, it will ultimately affect customer satisfaction.
Cat: It’s true that the staff at a restaurant that says, “This place must have low salaries,” doesn’t seem very nice, does it?
Ue: Our company’s motto is to “overturn common sense in the restaurant industry. We want to be a company where everyone can work happily without lamenting the recession. We have also established a welfare company and actively employ people with disabilities and foreigners. The reason we serve these rare ramen noodles is also out of the hope that when they become a topic of conversation on the Internet, people will be proud that our restaurant is doing something interesting.
Mr. Kamimura is looking more and more like a god. He is now building a noodle factory and test kitchen to make costs more efficient, and he is thinking of giving even more back to his customers. I think that sentence sounds like an advertisement for some strange evil company or religion, but I will tell you here that I did not sense any black-hearted scheming in Mr. Uemura’s clear eyes.
They also came out with chocolate ramen.
Incidentally, it was Valentine’s Day, and the “Chocolate Ramen” was on sale for two days only. We were asked if we would like to try it. I was surprised and decided to accept the offer.
I also decided to have the yakimeshi (grilled rice) that most people get as a set at Furanken. I won’t bore you with the rest of the story, but the level of the yakimeshi is quite high. He said, “When we are busy, we often make it in a jar, but we fry it from scratch with sauce. That’s wonderful. I’m already in the mindset of praising Francfranken no matter what they say.
The chocolate ramen is made with a broth made from Shimane Prefecture’s horse mackerel, chocolate oil extracted from cacao mass, and soy sauce as the base. On top is a piece of Meiji chocolate.
Although the cake ramen should have reassured me, I was still afraid to start sipping the soup. The broth was so thick that it was almost perfect. I thought the noodles were buckwheat noodles, but I was told they were Chinese noodles kneaded with cacao nibs. The heat melts the chocolate on its own, and the fusion of the ago-derashi soup stock and the chocolate begins without any choice. The key is to mix this up relentlessly as well. The savory aroma of the charred pork combined with the cocoa smell of the chocolate is unexpectedly good….
Ha. Just as I had forgotten that I had finished the cake ramen, I had finished the chocolate ramen as well! (And the yakimeshi too!). I’m really scared of myself like that.
Looking around, there were many couples, probably because it was Valentine’s Day, and they were also eating the chocolate ramen with relish. I wondered what kind of boyfriend would bring ramen to a restaurant on Valentine’s Day, but I guess it is normal for the young people of today.
Chocolate Ramen is only available for Valentine’s Day, but Cake Ramen is available until the end of March. My advice to those who go there is to be careful and mix it up completely. If you melt the cake halfway, it will not be a true marriage. If you eat it in that state and say, “It’s not good after all,” or “Oops,” it’s not the restaurant’s intention, and you’re likely to get flamed for another Nekoda article on over-mixing….
When I asked him what he had in mind for his next unusual ramen, he replied, “A true green ramen, I think. The soup would be made with matcha green tea and green algae, and the noodles and ingredients would be green. I’m in the process of making a green bowl right now, but it’s costing me more money and time than I expected…” “You’re making a bowl from scratch! You’re making the bowls! I’ll have to come back for more!
Interview, text, and photos： Shigeru Nekota
Born in 1979. Worked as an editor and writer for town magazines, travel books, and recipe books. Currently, as a web writer, he writes on a wide range of topics from decadence to traditional crafts. He loves to drink despite his weakness, and his life motto is "Sake is best drunk while walking.
Shigeru Nekota's food blog "I love quirky restaurants! https://nekotashigeru.site/