I just learned that in Thong Lo (or Thonglor), an area in Bangok, it would be a bit harder to find local food as, being in the city’s happening area where locals flock to unwind and have fun after work, its more of restaurants and bars. Unless you’re in Soi 38 but I wasn’t and I need to find food for dinner. While walking, saw this ramen shop across the street.
I love ramen but it has been two months since I had one and now I’m in my fourth week in Thailand, weeks of noodles, occasional sushi in Phuket, fried rice and other local Thai food made me crave for other tastes. And I saw that sign. Ramen. Hmmm. Why not? I haven’t yet seen the ramen brands that are in Manila so I wasn’t sure how Ramen Ajisai fare or what to expect.
Ramen Ajisai is named after the hydrangea, one of Japan’s popular blossoms other than the sakura and you can readily see a photo of the flower once you enter the small restaurant. The branch that I went to is the third in Bangkok and opened September last year.
The place is rather small from the outside but once you enter, is a bit narrow and long. The dining style is like one of the Ippudo ramen shops in Kyoto that I’ve been to, small, a long narrow table perpendicular to the counter (or in this case, the wall) that diners, usually solo, face while slurping that bowl. Even how the condiments, chop sticks and soup spoons as well as orders on paper are placed are the same but none of the loud greetings and thanks that one hear in Japan. Instead, it’s Thai hospitality and soft spoken Kap Khun kas upon leaving.
I flipped through the menu and settled for a ‘white soup,’ roast pork ramen with black roasted sesame and a plate of gyoza and later ordered a bottle of mineral water. The order was longer, compared to the quick and hurried serving in traditional ramen shops in Japan. There was no in house wifi but used one of the free wifi services present in Bangkok with rather convoluted registration forms to fill.
After 10 minutes, my gyoza arrived and five minutes more, my noodle, served not in rounded bowls but slanted like the red bowls of Ippudo. It wasn’t as piping hot as I expected but good enough to slurp immediately. The waitress then encouraged me to try their golden soup that I first tasted then poured a few spoonfuls to my bowl.
I took a sip of the thick soup and I was just bowled over by its richness and great flavorful! It was just so good that I had to dig in for more. As soon as the soup went down except for a few more spoonfuls, I had the thin but firm noodles. But it was the chasyu, roasted pork with a think layer of fat sliced thinly that really made a difference. It was so good and flavorful too and the fat just melts in your mouth. It was one of the best I’ve tasted!
I didn’t try other dishes or dessert but was happy to have such a great ramen bowl. It was filling and flavorful and was really good. Something that I will keep in mind to visit again when I will crave for ramen.
125/1 Soi Sukhumvit 55 (Thonglor)
Sukhumvit Rd, Khontan Nua Wattana