By Cathy Cawood
Ramen Oozakura (ラーメン大桜) is a regional ramen chain home to central Kanagawa that does great iekei-style ramen, serving wholesome bowls of shoyu/tonkotsu ramen to its customers.
A regular bowl of ramen starts at ¥670 with dozens of variations complete with your favourite toppings, notably char siu ramen at ¥880, and negi ramen at ¥870. Other highlights include their tsukemen (¥670) and their unique variation, akatsuke (¥770) – ramen served tsukemen-style alongside a spicy hot, sesame dipping broth and a separate helping of tonkotsu soup allowing you to dilute to taste.
I found the char siu here outstanding for the price and generous in serving, and I would go back time and time for this bowl again. The negi ramen is topped with shredded negi onion clearly modified to be a little spicy which adds a nice balance to the bowl.
Gyoza and beer are of course available and would go well with any of the menu options, and as with many ramen shops, you can request your preferred noodle cooking time, soup thickness and oil content.
There around 10 chains scattered about central Kanagawa in Tsukimino (featured here), Machida, Nozuta, Aobadai, Fujigaoka, Tokaichiba, Tsuruma, Kawasaki-taira, Noborito and Imajuku, with the original Tokaichiba branch ('honten') opening all the way back in 1996.
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