Small Place, Big Bowls

Following a trail of two good friends, Yui and Annie, we tried this newly-opened ramen restaurant on Sukhumvit 39 last Sunday and found we were right arriving early. The place, Ra Men Bankara, is open at 11am, but the two lines of waiting chairs were packed BEFORE the time. And as soon as the door was slid open, people crammed through and took all the available tables.

It seems that people knew about this place from words of mouth. Ladies next table mumbled out things her friends told her not to miss. We also had our agenda. Yui said their pork-based chashu ramen is not to be missed, so I ordered that. And my hubby, relying on Annie’s recommendation, ordered a pork miso ramen (butamiso). Here’s the butamiso, can you see the size of the bowl?

You see, we waited for almost half an hour before our food arrived, so we took some pictures of the condiments heaped on the table. Here is the fresh garlic cloves ready to be squeezed out through those hand-held devices. There are also white sesame, pickled ginger, soy sauce, chili oil, and vinegar.

The staple in any ramen meal – a plate of gyoza..

And here is my chachu ramen.

The first few bites were so good, so delicious. But after may be one third through the bowl, I felt as if I was slurping melted lard. The chacu was good, but still a bit too tough, I guess early birds have to endure this? It was also fatty, like it should be, and the soup was thick and, again, floated with oil/fat or something looks like it. To make the matter worse, I tried squeezing in some fresh garlic, shaking in some sesame.. none of which helped.. and I could only manage half the bowl.

Ok, I might be a bit too paranoid about the fat. Japanese are the majority of the clienteles, which I think is a good sign. The menu consists of ramen in pork soup, pork bone + marrow soup (thick white in colour), and miso which is typically salty as we all expect it to be. A basic bowl starts at about Bt200 and you can add half-boiled egg, seaweed, corns, bamboo shoot at Bt25-50 extra/each. We paid Bt510 for those three items.

Before we left, I saw one person ordered a plate of plain ramen with accompanied sauce.. it looks good and perhaps not that oily. May be next time..

Ra Men Bankara, Sukhumvit 39 (Inside the small arcade called ‘The Manor’ which is on the right hand side about 300 metre from the Sukhumvit entrance. Parking available in the premises. Daily 11am-11pm. T: 02-662-5162-3.

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