The simple, yet flavourful noodle dish Ramen has grown to massive popularity all over the world, with Ramen joints cropping up in major metropolitan hubs. Chennai being a port city and home to offices of various east-Asian companies, has attracted a multi-cultural crowd including people from Japan and Korea, bringing with them their distinct culture and cuisine. A result of this is a range of options for Ramen lovers - from the miso-base purists to vegans, from those who want to splurge on a luxurious bowl to those looking to satisfy their cravings on a budget. Homegrown has curated eateries in the city where ramen enthusiasts can find exactly what they need.
I. Aki Bay
Where: 6, Seetharam Main Road, Velachery Tambaram Main Road, Velachery, Chennai.
Satoshi Akimoto returned to Chennai, where he was previously stationed as a mechanical engineer, to bring the world of Japanese cuisine to this port city. The restaurant is known for its chicken white soup ramen, made from fresh vegetables and meat that is locally sourced and seasoned with Himalayan rock salt that gives the dish its characteristic bold flavour. It has one of the most extensive ramen menus, with not only miso ramen but also the pai tan and the chin tan variety.
Cost: Ramen dishes retail between INR 400 and INR 500.
Where: 37, Kaveri Complex, Nungambakkam, Chennai.
Dahlia is one of the oldest Japanese restaurants in the city, the cozy joint is known for its simplicity and authenticity. For about 25 years, the eatery in Nungambakkam makes fresh ramen and tofu from scratch, as well as their other noodles like soba or udon. Head on over for a piping hot bowl of ramen in the laid-back atmosphere, and flip through the mangas they stock for customers.
Cost: Ramen retails for INR 650.
III. Sushi In A Box
Where: Opposite Lanson Toyota, Cenotaph Road, Teynampet, Chennai.
This Japanese joint is a must-visit for manga lovers, they have an entire wall filled with manga comic strips as well as an area with traditional floor seating (with holes for your legs to dangle so that they don’t cramp uncomfortably!). The Nagasaki Champion ramen and the Zaru ramen, a cold noodle dish, are known to be delicious. They also have a range of other authentic Japanese delicacies like sushi and sashimi.
Cost: Ramen dishes retail between INR 465 to INR 485.
IV. Go Go Ramen
Where: 283, Yass Tower, Ground Floor, TTK Road, Opposite Sony Center, Alwarpet, Chennai.
This joint in Alwarpet has various kinds of ramen, from miso to chilli ramen. A must try is the Pork Broth Ramen— a delicious pork broth that’s simmered for 18 hours and delicately flavoured with scallions, ginger and leek. They also have interesting sides such as onigiri, gyoza dumplings and Japanese rolled omelette.
Cost: Ramen dishes retail between INR 400 to INR 600.
Where: Old 10, New 134, Chamiers Road,Nandanam, Chennai.
Fuji is a more traditional food joint, complete with the low tables and floor seating arrangements. They have ramen with different flavours, such as a miso-based one or soy sauce based broth, with either chicken or pork as your choice of meat. You could even finish your meal off with a bowl of refreshing matcha ice cream, or Anin tofu, which is a jelly like pudding.
Cost: Ramen dishes retail between INR 650 and INR 750.
VI. Pumpkin Tales
Where: 37/20, Bheemanna Garden Street, Alwarpet, Chennai.
Pumpkin Tales isn’t solely an asian eatery, it is a multi-cuisine spot with great options for vegan and vegetarians. This is a great place for those who want to be particular that their ramen contains no traces of animal products, like chicken broth or fish sauce for instance. Their portions are also known to be good. They offer ramen with chicken and egg as well.
Cost: The ramen retails between INR 350- INR 400.
Where: Shop 9, Oyster Building, Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Nungambakkam, Chennai and UG 29 -30, Door 66, New Door 142, Phoenix Market City, Velachery, Chennai.
Mamagoto is a fusion restaurant, their dishes are born out of experimenting with various cuisines so it may not be the place for the most authentic ramen — but that doesn’t stop the one they serve from being quite delicious. Mama’s spicy ramen is a piping hot bowl of comfort and indulgence, and has both vegetarian and chicken versions as well. If you’re in the mood to try something different, definitely head on over.
Cost: Mama’s Spicy Ramen Bowl retails at INR 549
Despite popular misconceptions, Korean-style ramen is quite different from its Japanese variant. It tends to be spicier, with its base made of certain spices and seasoning instead of pork or chicken broth. If you wish to try this kind, you can head on over to North East Kitchen or Cheong Ki Wa.
Feature image courtesy of food52.com
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