Parallel to sushi, ramen has been one of the most well-known Japanese dishes around the world. In Japan, the number of ramen shops you can spot in major cities, even in the countryside towns, is phenomenal - fact that proves the popularity of ramen in the Japanese gastronomical culture. As there are so many ramen shops, they do compete ruthlessly.
Onomichi is a gorgeous little temple town in Hiroshima and famous as the 'Shimanami Kaido cycling route hub'. The Onomichi ramen is one of the local delicacies in Onomichi. Commonly, the Onomichi ramen features soy sauce based soup with pork back fat and flat noodles. Adding the Seto inland sea’s seafood broth is another unique characteristic of the Onomichi ramen.
So why is the ramen at Ramen Matatavi so special? The secret lies in the experience and commitment of the owner-chef, Takaya. Ramen Matatavi is not the usual ramen shop. This cozy but somehow extremely comfortable restaurant only has counter seats. It offers not only ramen but also selected sake (rice wine) and super yummy seasonal nibbles to go with these drinks. Unlike customers at usual ramen restaurants, customers at Ramen Matatavi often stay for a long time drinking and enjoying the company and atmosphere. They then order the "Michelin food guide" listed ramen for completing the night. Your ramen experience will be an unforgettable one at Ramen Matatavi, for sure!
Many ramen shops use chemical additives and seasonings; however, the ramen at Ramen Matatavi does not contain them at all. The ingredients are carefully selected and almost all organic and locally produced. Matatavi's deep flavored soup uses a mixture of chicken broth and seafood stock, which are both locally sourced. Takaya creates Matatavi's ramen with love while fully utilizing 'the appeal' of the ingredients. This Matatavi's delicious ramen was chosen to be listed in the Michelin food guide in 2018. To cater to vegetarian people, Matatavi offers a full vegetarian option on request.
Ramen Matatavi opened in 2016 in Onomichi. Before the opening, the owner-chef, Takaya, was a key member of the catering team, Mangosteen Tokyo, since 2005. Through Mangosteen’s catering business, he experienced preparing tapas-style dishes and then moved to a Spanish restaurant to deepen his knowledge of Spanish food. Takaya’s cooking history is uniquely shown in the Ramen Matatavi’s ramen as well as in the special seasonal menus, which you cannot find elsewhere.
Ramen is a quick food. Often a customer comes into the shop, orders ramen, eats it, and then gone. Unlike usual ramen shops, customers hang out for a long time at this cozy counter to enjoy some carefully selected delicious sake from different parts of Japan. Many travelers from overseas, as well as all over Japan, drop into Ramen Matatavi to eat. At the same time, they connect with the friendly locals and regular customers. Because of this 'connection', Ramen Matatavi has been invited to open pop-up ramen shops all around Japan and overseas, like in Portugal, Germany, and Australia.
Ramen is now everyone’s favorite Japanese food. There are so many ramen shops to choose from. But once you try Ramen Matatavi’s next level ramen in its uniquely comfortable and friendly atmosphere, you will understand the reason why it is so special. When you are traveling to Hiroshima, why not visit this gorgeous little town of Onomichi! The ramen experience at Matatavi will satisfy your gastronomical ambition and also will add an unforgettable memory to your Japan trip.
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