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Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 3 - Ramen and Gyoza

(Oishinbo #3)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  734 ratings  ·  89 reviews
R to L (Japanese Style)

As part of the celebrations for its 100th anniversary, the publishers of the Tozai News have decided to commission the creation of the 'Ultimate Menu," a model meal embodying the pinnacle of Japanese cuisine. This all-important task has been entrusted to journalist Shiro Yamaoka, an inveterate cynic who possesses no initiative, but does have an incre
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 19th 2009 by VIZ Media LLC (first published January 1st 2005)
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Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: culinary, graphic, realism

It's getting a bit ridiculous how Yamaoka and his father keep running into one another even when they're not in Tokyo. But whatever, I'm here for the food.

But that's not to say that Oishinbo only deal with food -- as always, other issues are present, such as racist language, classism, and emotional problems between individuals.
Dec 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga, educational
Well, I gotta say....After just finishing the manga about Sake THIS volume was a very, very light read....I was almost disappointed at how light this book was because the Sake volume was SO educational. I mean all of the Oishinbo volumes teach you things about various food/drink but like I said this felt very light on....Maybe, it's incase you have a hangover from all the sake trying that they didn't want to sozzle your brain with too much info!! Haha

This is also where the storyline becomes a b
Dec 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, food
Quite a bit less in depth and detailed than the previous volume about sake had been. Kind of a shame. I was kind of hoping to learn just as much about ramen as I had about sake. Instead, this volume leans more on that overarching story: the Ultimate Menu, the father-son rivalry, etc. Which doesn't work out so well. As a sort of "greatest hits" compilation, the long-running story gets shredded to pieces. It is nice that the extensive end notes will help the reader keep that story straight, but it ...more
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga
I like this series. It's approachable, has a good amount of info, has a fun driving story, also attempts to address (and does so decently) issues like racism and sexism. A good food manga, this volume was entertaining and educational ...more
Lydia Presley
Feb 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010, foodie, manga
I've decided to start basing my ratings on how educational these are. Unlike the first Volume, they are starting (with Volume 2) to get a bit more choppy story-wise. However, I'm taking away a wealth of knowledge, and not all about food!

This book primarily deals with noodle dishes. A few misconceptions on cold noodle dishes, ramen, the preparation of noodles, the actual cooking of noodles and a harsh beat down on the use of MSG are prominent in this volume.

It still cracks me up whenever the fath
Stewart Tame
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Half the fun of this manga is its mere existence. One always hears about the sheer variety of subject matter supposedly available in manga form in Japan, so it's gratifying to see something non-fantasy or SF get an English translation. Oishinbo is odd. What's being translated are selected chapters of a much longer series, which revolves around the cuisine of Japan. Rather than translate the entire series, Viz has opted for selected chapters, sort of a Greatest Hits approach. Since the main empha ...more
Alyson Fortowsky
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For more of my general observations about this series, see my reviews of the Joy of Rice and Vegetables volumes. This volume comes with a great non-traditional miso ramen recipe at the beginning. The broth is a dashi (based in seafood or seaweed) rather than a chicken broth. I tried this recipe and it was so good. The flavours of the miso, dashi, garlic and sesame oil combine phenomenally and it's much easier than more traditionally-inspired recipes like Kenji Lopez-Alt's Ultimate Rich and Cream ...more
Dec 20, 2016 rated it liked it
So I accidentally read this one first, and will now go back to the very first volume (oops). But, regardless, what Western readers should realize is that Oishinbo was an incredibly popular comic in Japan, only recently going on an indefinite hiatus. We're talking a run from 1983 to 2014, with each volume selling about 1.2 million copies. According to ye olde Wikipedia, that's more than 130 million copies. Culturally, in America, we can't imagine something centering around food having this kind o ...more
Guan Jie
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another amazing Oishinbo comic book. It truly lives up to its blurb at the back, "endlessly informative yet entertaining" (paraphrased). It describes and explains so much of Japanese cuisine, which remains a mystery to me. This series has helped clear up some of the mysteriousness surrounding Japanese cuisine (maybe it's only mysterious to me) and it does so in an entertaining way. It doesn't bore me about its culinary greatness. It shows it and demonstrates it in a comical way. I look forward t ...more
Alex Lawless
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was pretty good! The review I'd give it is honestly very similar to the review I gave the other volumes. It's a smaller, themed collection of stories (this one about ramen and gyoza), edited for English, taken out of the context of a much longer-running manga. I really liked all of the illustrations of noodle making and gyoza folding in this volume. The notes in the back of the manga are incredibly helpful to provide context for English readers. I personally really love this series so far, ...more
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy this series. As someone who loves food, and is interested in different cultures, this gives some really fun insight into Japanese cuisine and culture.

The main character is charming, in a lazy Buffon sort of way, and I enjoy his relationships with the people around him. The meticulous descriptions and treatment of various foods and ingredients is fascinating and makes me completely unsatisfied with my own cooking, while also extremely hungry LOL!

This particular volume I think has
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: manga, japan, food
This was an interesting look into the world of ramen and gyoza in Japan. In particular, there is one story about the use of offensive terms for China in Japan that I appreciated. The author promotes the idea that nations must treat each other with respect just as individuals do, so the use of offensive terms for certain nations should be stopped. The only downside is that since this volume focuses on one type of food, there is a little repetition in the content of the stories.
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food, japan, gn
This series continues to be a masterclass on Japanese cuisine and food culture for me. Always informative and always always makes me hungry. The drama is ancillary to the food knowledge, and the dialogue loses something in translation, I imagine. more than makes up for that in flavor.
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I don't like the whole "father vs son battle" concept. And I learned more than I wanted on details about types of food I don't even know of, so maybe I'm not in the target audience, exactly. Some things were interesting nevertheless, though I can't provide a specific example. ...more
Excellent as always. The last chapter was especially important as it tackles racism.
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
The flavor of the noodles matters, guys.
Nguyen Ta
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It so interesting.
I'm plowing through the Oishinbos like a hungry diner through a multi-course meal; they're quick, fun reads, and I've definitely learned some new facts and techniques. In Volume 3 (Ramen and Gyoza), the focus is on some of Japanese cuisine's go-to daily meals: ramen and gyoza. But these basics aren't merely pedestrian, as Yamaoka would like to show us. The quality of the (hand-made) noodles and flavorful broth in ramen, and those of the firm skins and juicy fillings in gyoza, are of the utmost i ...more
Jun 16, 2011 rated it liked it
I had been eying the Oishinbo series since I first spotted them at my local comic book shop a while back. A couple of weeks ago, I got lucky and scooped up seven titles for a dollar each at my church's stoop sale.

I've been exploring the genre of graphic novels ever since I was first introduced to them by some teaching colleagues as a way to teach literacy in a fun and engaging way (especially for the lowest-skilled readers). As somebody who also loves to cook and learn more about food and cookin
Jan 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Susan by: Scott
I don't generally record the manga (Japanese comics) that I read. (Though if you're interested, you must try _Hikaro No Go_!) But Scott found a new one that he thought I'd like.

Oishinbo is manga for foodies. The story line is about two newspapers whose food critics are trying to create the Ultimate/Supreme (Japanese) menus. The main critics are father and son, so there's tension there, too.

This volume is about Ramen (noodles) and Gyoza (potstickers). Being volume 3 but my first one to read, I h
Jessalyn King
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was surprisingly entertaining, despite its educational slant... I basically wanted food the entire time I was reading. My main objection is the format ("à la carte" as they call it, where they've picked and chosen stories to translate from throughout the Oishinbo ongoing series): it was a bit confusing with the storyline and characters and I think if the notes and/or character introductions hadn't been there, I would have lost track of things. My smaller objection is the minute details (lik ...more
Jun 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"Standing ovation"

After reading two books in the Oishinbo series, I know this one would sure be something I like. To my surprise, this collection titled under "Ramen and Gyoza" exceeds my expectation of what a book of manga can achieve. Interesting stories and fascinating facts on ramen and gyoza, their common origin from Chinese culture, their modification and adaptation by Japanese, and how intricate and popular they are to the populace. Beyond all talks of food, it weaves in messages of respe
Feb 27, 2010 rated it liked it
Even though I skipped the first 2 volumes and jumped straight to this one, the story was easy to pick up because the characters' backgrounds are so shallow. Each part got formulaic -- someone wants the Ultimate Menu guy to help them with something, he's hesitant, but is then convinced to help out, he has to educate people about some tasty dish, then everyone is happy, repeat for next part.

The book needs another round in the editing department because there were a couple of mistakes, not in trans
Mar 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Probably my favorite of the set thus far.
The stories were all much more stand alone which made for a more enjoyable compilation experience, plus the whole book just made me want to run out and get ramen and gyoza.

Also I love how the author extols the virtues of organic food. I was surprised to see it in any of the books, but in this one they deal more with food for the "common people" and still creating regular meals with excellent ingredients is just fabulous.
Also the push to eat more local
Aug 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
More adventures of Shiro and his friends (and also some who are most decidedly not his friends, such as his father). In this volume, the gang investigates ramen and gyoza (as you might have noodled out from the title), and, in the longest arc in the book, helps a gyoza purveyor save his business from obsolence by cooking up a rather unusual offering.

As always, these English translations are presented "a la carte," a cute way of saying they're taken out of sequence for English readers. However, t
Apr 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is by far our families favorite Japanese eats. I think the first Japanese thing I ever made was Gyoza. A dear friend gave our family her recipe( she was raised in Japan because her parents were missionaries there) We loved it so much we even made our own skins once or twice. They are delicious. My Favorite part of this story other than the couple Yamaoka and Kurita is the easy demo on folding the gyoza. There's a Chinese shop that's branched out into Williamsburg, NY that makes dumpling and ...more
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Another excellent book in this series. Ramen and gyoza are both originally Chinese dishes which have become changed over time that they're really Japanese. They're also both dishes that you're unlikely to make at home, though I've made dumplings at home with my family. Since restaurants which specialize in ramen or gyoza are rare in the US, the stories might be less relevant to Americans. One story about ordering in a fancy restaurant and asking the waiter for their suggestions is good. The plot ...more
Dec 19, 2009 rated it liked it
When I read these graphic novels I always feel like the newspaper story plot and the father/son drama take a back seat to the food itself. While those are both plot points that are vital to the story, the descriptions of the food and what makes each item special (or suck) are just captivating, and I am not even that into eating. There is always a strong message of the importance of the purity and quality of the ingredients and how preservatives such as msg and even how the food is raised can aff ...more
Apr 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This incredibly educational and fun manga series has been my bible for Japanese food. I am a nut about Japanese food and culture. Tetsu Kariya uses a rivalry between two food critics (father and son who just hate on each other) to frame in-depth discussions about the history, preparation, cultural significance, and sustainability of Japanese food. The food, plants, ingredients are all drawn with such delicate attention to detail that I almost want to lick the pages (mostly, I just drool on them) ...more
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Manga writer and essayist extraordinaire Tetsu Kariya graduated from prestigious Tokyo University. Kariya was employed with a major advertising agency before making his debut as a manga writer in 1974, when he teamed up with legendary manga artist Ryoichi Ikegami to create Otoko Gumi (Male Gang). The worlds of food and manga were forever changed in 1983 when Kariya, together with artist Akira H

Other books in the series

Oishinbo (7 books)
  • Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 1 - Japanese Cuisine
  • Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 2 - Sake
  • Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 4 - Fish, Sushi and Sashimi
  • Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 5 - Vegetables
  • Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 6 - The Joy of Rice
  • Oishinbo a la carte, Volume 7 - Izakaya: Pub Food

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