When it comes to Ramen in Japan, no other Ramen joint that we have been to beats Ichiran Ramen. It will always remain THE choice Ramen for the Man and I. Each visit that we head back to Tokyo, almost without fail, we will need to visit Ichiran Ramen. Of course, it was slightly difficult when Bubba came along the trip with us. We felt that it would be really challenging slurping the Ramen with a baby in that somewhat claustrophobic stall.
But I saw somewhere on my Instagram feed that someone (forgive my Mombie brains, I can’t remember for the life of me who that person is) managed to have both her cake – or in this case, Ramen – and eat it. She did it baby-wearing her child, if I wasn’t wrong.
I was inspired by the revelation and made a mental note that if we ever head back to Japan, we gotta try going to Ichiran Ramen with Bubba and this time with confidence that we can do it.
On our first day in Kumamoto, we were roaming around the streets looking for a child-friendly restaurant to fill our bellies. It was about 2pm plus and we had not done any prior research on what to eat. After walking up and down the streets with no exciting restaurant in sight, we were about to head back to the nearest mall to just find something to quickly tide our hunger. It was then I spotted the Ichiran Ramen banner hanging above. I then gestured the Man and suggested we head there instead.
He hesitated a little for he knew it was going to be somewhat challenging. We had Bubba, 2 large bags and a stroller that we were lugging around. How was it going to be possible to squeeze everything into that tiny stall? But I told him, let’s just do it!
And so we did! Had to document the process for posterity sake.. hehe.. Here goes:
First up, pack your stroller neatly into a corner and then try to occupy the row of stalls with lesser patrons, in case your 18month old toddler irritates the rest of the customers by throwing one of those tantrum curveballs. Next, one of you carry your child while the other one quickly buys the coupons for the meal. It was a no-brainer for the Man and I, we both had a bowl of Ramen, added an extra order of eggs (one for the each of us including the tiny one) and bonus beverage of Beer to quench your thirst or calm your nerves.
Next, settle down, quickly place your order for the preferred way you like your Ramen to be served and then entertain 18month toddler with the first item your server will place in front of you, which in this case for us, the egg! When your server presents your steaming bowl of Ramen, decide which one gets to eat the Ramen first. Eat as fast as you possibly can without choking yourself or losing the enjoyment of slurping the noodles down.
As for the other parent, seat toddler down on an empty stool and get her interested in other stuff while you quickly whip up her noodles into her tiny bowl and cut up the noodles into bite-sized pieces for her to chew. Feed toddler and once the other parent has finished his/her noodles, swap places.
Well, it wasn’t half that bad for thankfully, both the Man and I are really fast eaters pre-Bubba days. We did have a memorable experience and slurping those noodles with sips of beer in-between was good enough for us. Of course, bonus was that Bubba also enjoyed the Ramen very much. I shared my portion with her and I think she finished up 1/3 of my noodles without the soup of course! 🙂
If you are intending to attempt this feat with your young child like we did, remember to take a goofy family wefie to remember this moment! We did that and guess who wasn’t so amused?