There’s no doubt about it: Thailand is a temple to a boatload of Thai noodle shops, serving up a variety of noodle bowls, from Northern khao soi, to boat noodles, and the all-time-favourite tom yum noodle soup.
Nevertheless, as the strong appetite for Japanese cuisine rises rather rapidly, Bangkok’s streets are being studded with omakase, izakaya, sushi, yakitori, and, of course, ramen shops to meet with the city’s Japanese fare needs. As ramen lovers ourselves, we trotted the length and breadth of the city trying the best looking and most scrumptious bowls. Here’s a curated list of some of the ramen we had and loved (and loved to ‘gram). Let’s get slurping.
[Hero image credit: Unsplash/Kilian Kremer]
A5 Wagyu Shoyu Ramen (THB 1,500)
Where: Mensho Tokyo BKK
Wagyu beef buffs: this should be your go-to. The stringy noodle is cloaked with a paper-thin slice of marbled kuroge wagyu from Japanese black cattle, which has been marinated for 24 hours then sous vided and briefly grilled for a smoky aroma. And if that isn’t enough, the preserved yolk studded on top also adds a umami depth to the meat-packed bowl.
Natto Aburasoba (THB 300)
Where: Mensho Tokyo BKK
Although the A5 Wagyu Shoyu Ramen alone proves Mensho Tokyo to be the mastery of ramen, you simply can’t overlook the glory shining through this Natto Aburasoba. It ain’t no side player. This soup-less ramen is showered in sticky, caramelised natto (fermented soybeans), which, as a result, oozes out a pungent taste and smell that hits you in the nose as well as hitting all the right flavour notes at the same time.
Hokkaido Miso Ramen
Where: Misoya Ramen Bangkok
Apart from its intense miso-enhanced flavour, this Hokkaido Miso Ramen is celebrated for its glossy red-brown broth that totally suggests its taste intensity. The Japanese braised pork belly chashu, minced pork, caramelised shallot, and halved boiled egg also make this ramen a better-than-ever version of the more classic ramen.
Akita Wagyu A5 Ramen
Where: Yuzu Ramen
It’s not haute-cuisine if it isn’t toped with wagyu, truffle, and gold leaf. Fancy something of luxury? Opt for this Akita Wagyu Beef Ramen, cloaked with a gigantic piece of akita wagyu A5, egg yolk, and a generous sprinkling of shaved truffle and a gold leaf. It’s highly Instagrammable and irresistibly delicious.
Pork Sukiyaki Kazan Ramen (THB 260)
Where: Tonkotsu Kazan Thailand
Of course, the deliciousness of this dish comes straight from that volcano of pork belly slices and house-made noodles. But the excitement here is purely from the fact that the meat is served raw before getting bathed in a scrumptious broth and covered to cook right in front of you.
IPPUDO Tom Yum Tonkotsu
Where: IPPUDO Thailand
Noodles without a kick of spice or tom yum tend not to make it too far in Thailand. We love it — especially on pizza and pasta. So there’s no wonder why Thai crowds are often found gobbling up this robust IPPUDO Tom Yum Tonkotsu, studded with prawns, chashu, fried fish, and a half-boiled egg.
Where: Bankara Ramen
For butter buffs who likes to put the dairy gold on just about everything you eat, this ramen was invented especially just for you. Once a dollop of butter melts into a pool of miso broth, the ramen exudes a depth of malty umami flavours that can only take your noodle experience to seventh heaven.
Where: Menya Itto BKK
For a bowl stocked full of flames, this Spicy Mazemen ticks all the boxes. The dry noodle bowl comes with a medley of toppings like spicy meat sauce, chicharron, shredded pork, and veggies for a kick of pungency and texture.
Where: Shugetsu Ramen
Not into the broth business? By all means, opt for this Abura Soba. The noodle is clothed in a mixture of shoyu and scallop oil with a plump yolk and a spoonful of dry fish powder sprinkled on top for pops of flavour.
Jangara Black Ramen
Where: Kyushu Jangara Thailand
The messy-crazy look of this Jangara Black Ramen is drool-inducing. And what actually adds extra oomph and true character to this dish is the signature garlic broth that will fuel up your stomach with some good heat.