PUBLISHED June 25th, 2020 05:00 am | UPDATED July 2nd, 2020 07:39 pm
Bangkok is swimming in ramen houses, many with a Tokyo pedigree and sights set on world domination. If, like us, you’re on a never-ending quest to reach noodly nirvana, we’ve put together a shortlist to slurp your way through. From rich, silky tsukemen to karamen with a kick, here’s your roadmap to the best ramen in Bangkok.
Ramen tends to hog the limelight, but it’s the tsukemen (dipping ramen) which steals hearts and stomachs at Menya Itto. Tucked away in the basement of Erawan Bangkok, this Tokyo import’s signature is a divine Itto Tsukemen (THB270). Think a rich, slightly sweet chicken-and-seafood broth, into which you dip springy wheat germ noodles and tender chashu slices. Soaking in the broth is a pair of cartilage-packed chicken meatballs that crunch satisfyingly in the mouth. Meanwhile, the Lobster Tsukemen (THB1,890) is pure decadence in a dish – a whole, buttery lobster alongside a creamy bisque. Check out our review here.
Menya Itto is located at 494, 01 Phloen Chit Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, p. +66 2 250 7669. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am–3.30pm and 6pm–9pm, Sat-Sun 11.30am–9pm.
Tomoharu Shono’s Tokyo-born empire has been making waves as far as San Francisco. Its Bangkok space is a modern, monochromatic affair, matching the snazziness of its offerings. Case in point: the Wagyu Miso Ramen (THB390++) turns up the luxe factor with prized kuroge wagyu, slow-cooked and fire-roasted to smoky tenderness. It’s also pretty rare to see meat-free options on a ramen menu, but Mensho’s Vegan Tantanmen (THB360) hits the spot with an umami-packed broth of dried seaweed, mushrooms, beans, and Japanese soy cream.
Mensho Tokyo is located at G Floor RSU Tower Room G03, Klongton Nua, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, p. +66 91 887 9492. Open daily 11am–3pm and 5pm–10pm.
A household name in Bangkok’s ramen scene, Bankara is beloved for its generous, belly-stuffing bowls. The signature Bankara Original (THB195) sees bouncy noodles, melt-in-the-mouth chashu, and bamboo shoots brought together in an intense tonkatsu broth. We have a soft spot for the Kakuni Tonkotsu (THB300) too – a silky symphony of braised pork belly and milky broth. Bonus: each table comes furnished with garlic presses and fresh cloves, which you can add to your ramen as you please.
Bankara Ramen has outlets in Sukhumvit 39, Siam Paragon, ICONSIAM, and Future Park Rangsit.
We could rave about Nanase’s chicken-based broth for hours – thick, creamy, collagen-rich, yet less oily than your usual pork-based fare. One comfort classic on a rainy day is their Special Soba (THB165), which features hearty meatballs, chewy noodles, and an oozy onsen egg bathed in the aforementioned slurp-worthy broth. For a spicy Thai twist, there’s the Tom Yam Ramen (THB128), which packs quite the fiery, tangy punch.
Nanase Ramen has outlets in Thonglor, Phrom Phong, On Nut, and Asoke. Open daily 7am–8pm.
Shugetsu’s broth is a serious labour of love – it involves purely handmade, 18-month-fermented soy sauce, along with oil made from Japanese scallops cooked for 12 hours. This umami bomb is best appreciated in its Abura Soba (THB195), or soupless ‘oil noodles’. Think thick noodles clothed in an intense sauce enhanced by fish powder, then generously topped with braised pork belly strips. They’re also known for their Tsukemen (THB225), which comes with a tangy seafood soup.
Shugetsu Ramen is located at The 49 Terrace, Soi Sukhumvit 49, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, p. +66 97 115 5157. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am–3pm and 5pm–10.30pm, Sat-Sun 11.30am–10.30pm.
The offshoot of yet another chain empire from Japan, Misoya centres around variants of umami-laden miso ramen. The Hokkaido Miso Ramen (THB220) is a clear crowd-favourite, starring braised pork belly chashu and chunky minced pork in a deeply savoury, brown broth. Handcrafted fresh, the noodles arrive at your table springy and perfectly toothsome. Amp up the experience with the Hokkaido Aburi Chashu-men (THB260), which boasts thick, smoky slabs of flame-seared chashu.
Misoya Ramen is located at 7/F EmQuartier, 693 Sukhumvit Rd, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, p. +66 2 003 6248. Open daily 11am–9pm.
Tracing its roots all the way back to 1950s Fukuoka, Uma Uma dishes up Hakata-style ramen with extra-thin, non-curly noodles. Its signature Uma Uma Original Ramen (THB140++) sees succulent chashu slices in a fabulously rich tonkotsu broth – we love that you can choose the texture of your noodles, from regular to very hard. They’ve also hopped on the mala bandwagon with a range of tongue-numbing offerings, including the Mala Wagyu Roast Beef Mazesoba (THB500) – featuring slow-cooked Hokkaido wagyu beef in a fiery broth.
Uma Uma has outlets in The Commons Thonglor and Sukhumvit 23. Open Mon-Sat 11.30am–11pm, Sun 11.30am–10pm.
This no-frills chain eatery – particularly its Thaniya branch – is a favourite for late-night comfort noods. The Chasyumen (THB250) is a monster-sized, deeply satisfying classic, bursting with flavour and fatty pork slices. For something lighter on the stomach, the Syoyu Ramen (THB180) is a solid go-to. Besides ramen, they’ve got some fantastic rice options as well – the Katsu Curry Rice (THB`180) is a crispy marvel of pork cutlets topped with buttery curry.
Sendai Ramen Mokkori
Owned by Japanese actor Norio Suzuki, this cramped, cheery joint boasts a sprawling menu of ramen and rice bowls. Spice lovers can head straight for the Karamen (THB268) with five different spice levels – the red-hot broth promises a tongue-tingling trip. Fluffy eggs and heaping portions of noodles complete the experience. To pair, try the plump, thin-skinned gyozas with a crispy bottom.
Sendai Ramen Mokkori is located at Silom-Surawong Condo, 43/1, Soi Anumarnratchathon, Suriwong, Bangkok 10500, p. +66 2 634 2319. Open Sun-Fri 11am–2.30pm and 5.30pm–11pm. Closed Sat.
Top Image: Mensho Tokyo