Until recently, I really hated shio ramen and resented the fact that I would need to bring the quality of it up to par with the other traditional flavors like my beloved tonkotsu. Granted, many shops in Japan specialize in one or two flavors that may choose to exclude the shio variety.
However, this is not Japan, and here in the US, Americans want variety. As a student of industrial engineering, we often studied quality concepts (many of which originated from Japan, by the way). One concept was the notion that to strive for “higher quality”, you would likely have to sacrifice variety. Variation leads to a variance of outcomes and high variance decreases the quality in a product or system. Therefore, in order to confidently offer at least 4 or 5 flavors for my Japanese Ramen Dinner Parties or even a ramen-ya one day, I need to work on bringing my shio ramen up to my personal standard at least.
An effort to instill consistency with *all* of the flavors that I craft (including the shio flavor) would mean that there would be less deviation between flavors. As a result, this would raise the overall quality of the ramen that I craft. Taking my least favorite flavor of ramen, then working and researching how to improve upon it, I have found a new love and respect for shio. The sea salt is the star and it certainly shines, but the aromatics and other base vegetables also blend harmoniously in a complex, yet simple fashion. ✌😎