“The best and authentic” soy sauce flavored ramen is “Onomichi Ramen”, one of the few ramen in Japan.
Onomichi Ramen existed before WWII, has long history.
My father was born and raised in Onomichi with his favorite dish Ramen.
He has his own business and always used “sales calls” as excuse to go out. On the way back from “sales” he always tried different kinds of Chinese noodle=ramen for lunch and it become his daily routine.
My father was born on 1940, he also liked and frequently visited “Shukaen”, “Tsutafuji” “Miyachi” which were famous ramen restaurants came out right after WWII,
This ramen tour led him to open his own restaurant “Onomichi Ramenya” in the future but he didn’t have any idea at that time.
With the popularization of Onomichi Ramen, “Hasebe Noodle production’ company set up a consulting project both tastes and management for chefs starting up their own ramen restaurant business.
Fortunately since “Hasebe noodle” was right next to my uncle’s wood company, my father was able to get trained directly from professional ramen business consultant Mr. Hasebe, as his friend and neighbor.
My father was dreaming to eat his favorite ramen anytime he wants and it actually came true opening his own ramen restaurant directed by his neighbor Mr. Hasebe.
This Hasebe noodle business style is now generally well known in Japann as “Noodle Production style” which is one restaurant has noodle factory and kitchen to cook soup, so that customer can have both fresh noodles and soup at the same time.
The local specialty Onomichi ramen when we usually imagine is basically has medium-fine noodles and strongish soy flavored clear brown broth soup. Topping is usually very simple but the gobs of melted lard is floating on top, some restaurants lard is deep fried and others mixed with scallions each of them has their original ideas in the bawl. This melted lard makes great impact on the simple soy source flavored ramen and makes clear distinction between Onomichi Ramen and regular clear soy-flavored ramen soup.
Also, small fish paste is used for broth is another feature of basic Onomichi ramen.
Whereas, the original very first Onomichi Ramen was as it names, very simple and different, “Shukaen” mainly used Checkin bone soup, very few pork bone was used not like current style. On top of it “Tsutafuji” used Chicken bone, Pork bone and Fish paste was mixed used for broth.
Since we have above original and modern styles, we don’t know which is the correct one to describe “Onomichi Ramen”. but middle-fine noodle in strongish soy sauce dark brown soup, and melted lard on top, those two basic features are same on both original and modern.
After my father opened his own “Onomichi Ramen restaurant”, he was obsessed with ramen, even though it was his side job.
I was wondered that my father actually listened his business consultant Mr. Hasebe’s instruction or his original idea to use simple Red counter table, and typical ramen bawl that everyone used. I didn’t see any speciality’s on his restaurant, but he looked very happy with that.
Our restaurant getting busier and my mother convinced my father to go back to his main sales job, then he reluctantly hired people to take over but he often sneaked into kitchen for “tasting” but actually eating his favorite ramen behind my mom.
Middle-fine flat noodle in Soy sauce flavored soup, melted lard on top.
However this ramen can spread to variety of ramen, some restaurants uses Pork bone and Seaweed base soup and straight noodle, others uses Pork bone, Chicken bone, Veges, Seaweed Soup, Small fish soup and so on….