Iida Shoten Instant Ramen - Any Good?
Iida Shoten is technically Japan's no. 1 ranked ramen shop. Naturally, there was a lot of buzz when they released an instant ramen.
As someone who's eaten at Iida Shoten, here's my take on their official, premium instant ramen!
Ramen Iida Shoten - Top of Japan
Ramen shops rise and fall like the tides on lists where they’re ranked. But Iida Shoten in Yugawara, Kanagawa has always been towards the top of every list. More recently, they've held the no. 1 ramen spot on several Japanese websites, including Tabelog and Ramen Database.
Rankings are a subjective thing. Regardless, Iida Shoten is among the most famous ramen shops in all of Japan. Their signature dish is a shoyu (soy sauce) ramen that showcases a beautiful chicken-anchored soup.
This ramen is ridiculously complex, with ingredients gathered from all over Japan. The most delicious flavors in the soup come from whole chickens and chicken bones.
This is the ramen that Iida Shoten decided to make instant. They did so with an emphasis on the same chicken-anchored soup.
Iida Shoten Instant Ramen Paradise
So the expectations were high for this instant ramen, to say the least. Instant ramen heavyweight Maruchan was tasked to make it.
It's also sold under 7-Elven's "Gold" brand - which adds even more pressure! There's a photo of owner Iida-san himself on the cover.
When you open the cover, you'll find four separate packets. Two packets are for the soup and two are for the toppings. One of the soup packets (light blue) contains an aroma oil with flavors you won't find at their ramen shop. We'll get to this below.