[Bangkok] Finding ramen in Bangkok may not be on everyone’s hit list, but it is on my target.
Menya Itto 麺屋一燈 at Erawan had been attracting long queues during its launch, a strong competitor to other well-known names of Bankara Ramen, Misoya and Ramen Tsukemen Fujiyama Go Go.
This is despite its moderately substantial price of 270 baht (SGD11.30) for a bowl of Tsukemen.
Inexpensive in Singapore’s context, but Bangkok foodies can get a bowl of noodles at the streets for less than a hundred baht easily.
The ‘honten’ which originated in Tokyo had been consistently rated No.1 ramen in Tabelog for the a number of years, and they strive to do the same in Bangkok.
Known for its signature Gyokai Tsukemen – cold dipping noodles with a thick dipping soup made from chicken and seafood, the queue has subsided and you could much easily get a table now.
Itto means “One Light”. Its founder Chef Yukihiko Sakamoto believes that a person who continuously does their best can be a beacon of light to others.
Chef Sakamoto initially apprenticed under Tashiro Koji of Menya Kouji fame, then went on to work for Chef Tomita of Tomita Ramen fame.
Because of this Tomita connection, Menya Itto uses the same Tsukemen flour specially developed for Tomita Ramen.
Tsukemen may not be as popular as ramen in this part of the world, but I would recommend getting the Noko Gyokai Tsukemen (270 baht, SGD11.30).
The dipping soup was the winner – very hot, and very rich.
To me, it was both complex and intense, created by a reduction of a chicken and seafood soup base, further added with dried Hokkaido scallops.
DON’T drink it plain off the bowl, though I know of people doing that, then complain it was too salty.
The noodles were bouncy with an agreeable chewy bite, added with wheat germ in the flour mix for more flavours.
You seldom get different meat toppings for Tsukemen, and Menya Itto offers a trio of chicken, pork belly and pork shoulder – which tasted like a thicker piece of plain ham.
Some diners may have concerns that the meats look paler and more pinkish than usual. This is because the meats are sous-vide rather than grilled, resulting in that succulent and tender texture.
May need some getting used to.
If ramen is your thing, then get the Noko Gyokai Ramen (195 baht, SGD8.20).
It has a ‘Kotteri’ style opaque white bone thick broth, made with chicken and seafood, instead of pork as used in Tonkotsu ramen which more Bangkok people are used to.
The noodles used are slightly thicker than their Shio Ramen (230 baht, SGD9.60) and made with less water to give more bite to match the richer soup.
While I was not a biggest fan of the noodles, I would recommend Menya Itto for the intense, richly flavour soup. Plus it is just a short walk away from the 4 Face Buddha Erawan Shrine in Chidlom.
Menya Itto Bangkok 麺屋 一燈
LG/F Erawan, 494 Phloen Chit Road, Bangkok Thailand (BTS Chit Lom)
Phone: +66 2 250 7669
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3:30pm, 6pm – 8:45pm Daily
Google Maps – Menya Itto Bangkok
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