My Top 10 Irish Dishes of 2021 #8

#8: Spicy Curry Bento Box at Osaka Ramen & Bento in Ennis-

The Bento Box lunch special at Osaka restaurant in Ennis featured a hearty combination of spicy chicken curry, two pieces of sushi roll, a crispy chunk of tempura onion and green beans and a big scoop of rice. It was an excellent meal, and a pleasant surprise, since I went to the restaurant for a bowl of ramen.

I used to visit another Japanese restaurant in Ennis that served an exceptional bowl of ramen with a rich and creamy tonkatsu pork stock. I described it to the waiter and hoped Osaka had something similar.

My waiter knew the family that used to run the other restaurant. He remembered that the tonkatsu stock took several days to make. It seemed he was a fan of that ramen himself. But the other restaurant was no longer in business.

“We don’t have tonkatsu ramen here,” he said.  “Just miso.”

When I asked him to bring me a bowl of the miso ramen, he balked.”You don’t want the ramen. Get the Bento box.”

I was flattered that the waiter seemed to size me up as a fellow ramen aficianado. He knew I wouldn’t be happy with a lame bowl of noodles.

It was also pretty clear that he was very proud of Osaka’s Bento lunch special. I have to thank him for steering me toward a tasty Japanese lunch.