When your expectations are too high, Ramen Kagura Restaurant.

I’m outraged and disappointed.

I should’ve seen that coming. I really should’ve anticipated it. But silly me, I set my expectations too high and got tricked.

And right now, I am still so angry with myself falling for marketing tricks. And so disappointed with the quality of what I ordered.

All I wanted was hot yummy ramen.

It had been raining cats and dogs all day, my stomach had been feeling funny for the last few days, and I’d been writing dumb posts for my kind-of-travel blog since I woke up. My fingers were stiff and, as per usual, I was too lazy to cook a real meal myself.

So an idea popped into my head: hot spicy ramen takeout!

Now, why ramen you may wonder? Ramen has become crazy-popular lately in Europe. Nobody is going for sushi anymore. Fancy people go out for ramen now.

There are literally tons of ramen bars all over Madrid. Always crowded and always overbooked. And overpriced as well. You need to book a table in advance to get in.

Since I have never tried real ramen, I thought today was the perfect moment.

I knew exactly what I wanted; I was aiming for a specific ramen place, Ramen Kagura. We’d tried to get in 3 or 4 times, but there was always a 1.5 hour waiting list. Good sign, right? Not to mention, quite a few of my friends had labelled it the best ramen in town. Who would doubt – am I right?

Ramen Kagura does surprisingly well online. Their social media profiles are on fire, customer reviews are excellent. And the photos… don’t get me started on the photos of their food. Simply #foodporn, #mouthwatering #orgasmic.

It was 5pm Sunday, I got out of my comfy PJs and put on some not-very-clean-looking clothes. Yes, I stay in my PJs all day long while I work on a Sunday. And yes, laundry day happens way too rarely in my home. Don’t judge me; it’s perfectly normal for a 30-year-old city gal who lives alone.

So I was ready to go there in the heavy rain, with a silly smile and still in a good mood.

Somehow food makes me extremely happy. I’m not sure if this is something I should discuss with my shrink?

Anywho, full of optimism under my half-broken umbrella, I headed to the Ramen Kagura restaurant. At that point I was still so naïve; I had no idea that my excitement would be crushed like an old unwanted glass in a glass recycling bin.

I made a spectacular all-out entry. I ordered vegetarian miso ramen with extra miso broth like a bat out of hell. Why the rush? Well, I had already studied the menu for weeks, so my decision had been made days ago.

I got my order in less than 5 minutes. Great service – right?

On the other hand, a bit alarming that it took them less than 5 minutes to get my order, prepare my food, pack it in a plastic container and bring it to the counter. Not to mention, the food was pretty cheap.

I should have thought about it deeper while I was there. But no, I was way too excited and too hungry to think at all. I was lucky I didn’t get lost on my way home because my brain was craving carbs and protein so hard it actually…

I marched proudly home. Opened all receptacles, my adrenaline pumping.

-Drum Roll Sound Effect-

 

And there it was, my huge not-at-all-mouthwatering container of disappointment. 

Ramen Kagura, Madrid
                                       See? That’s how yukky take out should look like.  

My brain, still full of optimism, recalled my granny’s words, don’t judge a book by its cover (or as my other granny would say, eat whatever shit they give you). So I gave the funny looking soup inside the benefit of the doubt.

Even though the noodles looked like a huge grey gooey bird’s nest with a sweet taste (why was it sweet anyway? Oh right, sugar hijacks your brain and makes you addicted to the food!) and the fried tofu was sticky, I mixed it with the miso broth that came in a separate container and heated it in the microwave.

Should I mention that the miso broth was so salty, I literally had to squeeze a whole lemon to make it eatable (and drink 2 glasses of water afterwards)?

Overall, the ramen had no taste – it was sugary and salty. I couldn’t make it through the entire dish and my inner master chef furiously woke up. Long story short, we (my inner chef and I) ended up slicing and adding a few shiitakes and green onions, and adding a few drops of Sriracha sauce before squeezing another lemon into the soup.

Ramen Kagura, Madrid
                                 In my defense, I really tried hard to make the soup edible.

At the end we were satiated but a bit disgusted (and thirsty). Unfortunately, half of the sticky noodles ended up in the garbage because it kept looking like bird’s nest full of bird shit. And I really couldn’t put that in my mouth.

I have to admit: I probably won’t be going back. But I learned my lesson: I must lower my expectations so I won’t get disappointed so easily.

I assume it’s like a summer crush. It happens, you can’t get it out of your head. But once autumn and real life comes along, you know it won’t work.

That’s the story of me and Ramen Kagura.

And you guys, another thing is crystal clear now, I should move my lazy ass and start cooking my own food. After all, I have a virgin veggie sharpener in my kitchen that is screaming to be used for god’s sake!

P.S: Since I have just messed with half of this pro-ramen city, I may need to seek safe asylum. Please email me with a secret escape plan. Friends from hot Caribbean or Jaen (Spain) areas, I’m talking to you!

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