Here, in the noodle mecca of Fukuoka, Marutan has created a brand new genre called ratanmen – an original combination of Hakata ramen and tantanmen. The first thing you notice is the aroma and flavor of sesame. Every morning, the chefs make sesame paste from fresh ground sesame seeds and vegetable oil. This is then mixed into a soup made from fragrant vegetables which pairs well with the thin Hakata-style noodles. Since the broth contains no pork bones, it does not have the trademark odor that some people dislike. The minced pork topping is stir fried in homemade ramen oil, red miso and ginger, and provides just the right amount of spice to the dish. If you prefer more spice, you can order a spicy ratanmen from the get-go or request spicy toppings such as Red Dragon sauce and spicy garlic. Since one bowl only costs ¥500, many patrons enjoy trying the different side dishes. Marutan is open until 4:00, so you can stop by anytime, day or night.
Menu: Ratanmen ¥500, ratanmen w/ marinated soft boiled egg ¥600, spicy ratanmen ¥600, char sui ratanmen ¥900, teppanyaki: 1 serving ¥700, 1.5 servings ¥900, roasted char sui on rice ¥300, ground meat and miso on rice ¥300, noodle refill ¥100, draft beer ¥400, toppings (ground meat and miso ¥100, marinated soft boiled egg ¥100, Red Dragon ¥120, spicy garlic ¥100)
Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn219, Mar. 2017)