Chin’yū’s Chinese Soba:
Chin’yū (珍遊) is a Kyoto-style ramen restaurant that is famous for its rich broth. There are always many people lining up during lunch time, it’s quite normal to see 30 or more hungry ramen lovers lining up. I went to the main store after lunch time and skipped the waiting part. There is another store near the Kyoto City-hall on Tomikoji-dori close to the Movix movie theatre.
Origin of Chin’yū:
In the early Showa period (1926-1988) a small stall opened up in the Ichijoji area of Northern Kyoto. In those days money was not abundant and so the cheap yet healthy “Chinese Soba” became popular. Eventually eight more stores opened up in the Kyoto area. And so the unique Chin’yū (珍遊) Kyoto-style ramen shop was born.
Broth of Chin’yū:
Kyoto has many ramen shops, there almost one in every street. What makes Chin’yū stand out, is the rich broth they use as a soup base for their ramen. They use plain hot water soup with chicken as a base, and full of collagen. Using original soy sauce, they have created a flavour that will last through the centuries. It truly is “soul food”. Gyusuji-don, a rice bowl topped with simmered beef, is a popular side dish.
Origin of Ramen:
The origin of ramen is unclear. Some sources say it is of Chinese origin. Other sources say it was invented in Japan in the early 20th century. The name ramen is the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese lamian (拉麺).
Until the 1950s, ramen was called shina soba (支那そば, literally “Chinese soba”) but today chūka soba (中華そば, also meaning “Chinese soba”) or just Ramen (ラーメン) are more common, as the word “支那” (shina, meaning “China”) has acquired a pejorative connotation.
By 1900, restaurants serving Chinese cuisine from Canton and Shanghai offered a simple ramen dish of noodles (cut rather than hand pulled), a few toppings, and a broth flavoured with salt and pork bones. Many Chinese living in Japan also pulled portable food stalls, selling ramen and gyōza dumplings to workers. By the mid 1900s, these stalls used a type of a musical horn called a charumera (チャルメラ, from the Portuguese charamela) to advertise their presence, a practice some vendors still retain via a loudspeaker and a looped recording. By the early Shōwa period, ramen had become a popular dish when eating out. (this part courtesy of Wikipedia)
I can heartily recommend Chin’yū’s style of ramen and see for yourself if you like it.More Japanese Cuisine Pictures here!