Oslo is finally big in Japan
Opened in late September, Koie Ramen is Oslo’s first authentic ramen place: no reservations, no takeaways, you just walk in at their all-wood place in Osterhaus gate and enjoy a fresh bowl of ramen whenever you need to—just like it should be. The secret that sets them apart from all the other places that try to recreate the staple Japanese dish? At Koie Ramen, they make their own noodles.
We spoke to Ann, the owner, who told us that apart from the obvious Japanese influences, there’s also a strong U.K. element at play: their head chef, Tim Homer, is from the U.K., as well as the homemade bowls they serve their ramen in. Speaking of the bowls, you can choose between four ramen styles: tonkotsu (pork bone broth with pork belly), miso (vegetarian with bean paste and mushrooms), shoyu (soy broth with pork neck), and shio (clear, salty broth). Whichever you choose, you’d be well advised to leave some room for their karaage chicken (deep-fried and served with mayo), yet another Japanese staple you can’t find in many places in Oslo.
What is it about ramen, anyway?
Ramen has always been one of those foods that warm your soul. It’s a combination of many things: the broth, that you have to drink straight from the bowl; the noodles, that you can actually slurp noisily (this is actually encouraged, as it’s your way to show you’re enjoying your dish); the marinated egg, and all the other, artfully assembled toppings. But it’s mostly the way this Chinese-export-cum-Japanese-staple is traditionally being served and consumed: ramen is a kind of slow fast-food that is nourishing, fatty enough to help combat the cold but balanced enough so that you don’t feel gross about yourself afterward. It is a food you can enjoy on your own without talking to anybody (many ramen restaurants have one-person tables or tables with partitions) or with your loved ones without having to say much. It’s everything that’s cozy about winter, wrapped up in a bowl.
Koie Ramen is located at Osterhaus gate 13, Oslo. They’re open every day from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., and they don’t accept reservations or do takeaway.