A new take on noodles in Italy
Stars and Stripes November 9, 2023
Living in Italy, you can throw a stone in any direction and hit a restaurant that serves pasta or pizza. But what if you want noodles doused in broth instead of sauce?
In that case, the drive just got shorter for the Aviano community. Mic Ramen opened in September as Pordenone’s first ramen restaurant. It’s a sister location of the Mic Ramen near the Army garrison in Vicenza.
The social media reviews thus far were raving about it, so it was time for me to check it out. On a Wednesday at lunchtime, most of the tables were occupied in the anime-adorned, two-story restaurant.
Owner Nicole Chen is a fan of Japanese animation and said she thought customers would embrace it as well. If you’re a fan, you’ll recognize what you see immediately.
I’ve eaten ramen in a few different places, but I haven’t had the opportunity to try it in Japan, so I asked for a recommendation.
I was directed to the miso ramen, which is widely available throughout Japan. But Japanese people most often associate it with the northern island of Hokkaido. As with barbecue or pizza in the United States, most regions in Japan have their own styles of ramen.
The bowl in front of me included noodles slightly thicker than most spaghetti, a large piece of pork by ramen standards, sprouts, half a marinated egg and a sheet of nori.
I know this will probably make some curse me. But every time I’ve had ramen in the past, the first thing I did was add soy sauce. I guess after many of the flavorless dishes I’ve had, I always expect I will need it.
Not his time, though. The flavor was a delightful balance of savory and slightly sweet notes, harmoniously blended together. The toppings added freshness and crunch to the dish.
I also ordered takoyaki, fried pastry balls typically filled with a small piece of tako, or octopus. It’s another widely found dish in Japan, but it’s probably most famous in Osaka.
The set of four had octopus and mayonnaise, topped with tonkatsu sauce, bonito flakes and seaweed powder.
If you’re shy about a strong taste of seafood, you don’t need to worry with takoyaki. The zesty flavor was more about the dough and the mayonnaise.
The menu has two children’s options as well as appetizers, bao sandwiches, rice balls and a few dry noodle dishes if you are looking for something other than ramen.
But while I might try some of these other items when I return, I won’t be skipping the main event.
Address: Viale Marconi 14/A, Pordenone, Italy
Hours: Wednesday through Monday, 12-3 p.m. and 6:30-10:30 p.m. Closed Tuesdays.
Prices: Appetizers from 3-6 euros. Main dishes range from 5.80-14 euros. Drinks range from 3-6.50 euros.
Information: Phone: +39 388 852 0205; Instagram @micramenpordenone