Sunday 5 February 2017

Review: The Ramen Bar

What do you do when the place you want to visit for lunch has no seats left and it rains buckets outside? You try to think fast, pick a place where you can find comfort food and if you happen to be a blogger like me, you also might want to find somewhere that will end up as content for your blog. It also helps if a fellow food blogger suggests a place she likes. That's how I recently ended up at The Ramen Bar.

I've been an occasional customer of Kokoro sushi on Liffey Street since it opened and The Ramen Bar, at the back of Kokoro on South William Street has been on my list since last year. I visited on a weekday at lunchtime when people were rushing inside to escape from the lashing rain.

The front room has long high tables and stools and is perfect for solo diners with seats by the window or facing the wall. There is a big fridge filled with sushi that's made fresh everyday.

A red neon sign catches the eye above the entrance door of the dining area which is located at the rear. It's darkly lit but was buzzing with people slurping their ramens.

At the Ramen Bar, they are proud to make their own noodles with a noodle machine especially imported from Japan. The menu features a range of ramens (pork, chicken, salmon, vegetables) that can be customised with toppings of your choice. Prices range from €10 to €12.50 and you can also order side dishes if you have a big appetite.

We were first brought a complimentary snack (which changes daily) of delicious lotus root crisps with a tofu cream cheese dip, sprinkled with finely chopped chives. It was gone within seconds.

Ms Y. and I ordered the same dish, the Tonkotsu original ramen which is reasonably priced at €10. The first thing I noticed was the size of it, this was a massive portion.

The ramen consisted of a warming broth with firm homemade noodles, thin slices of succulent slow cooked pork belly with plenty of bean sprouts, spring onion, bamboo shoots, dried seaweed and a 'seasoned' egg'.

The egg was seasoned with soy sauce I believe, came cut in half and perfectly firm on the outside, with a vibrantly yellow gooey yoke. I'm no ramen expert (even though I've been to Japan many years ago) but I have to say it was a satisfying dish with good flavours and textures.

The portion defeated me but it certainly felt like a warm hug for the belly. I'm not sure how people could possibly go for 'Kae-Dama' as advertised on the menu and get a refill of ramen noodles for just €3.

We paid a tenner per person which was good value, service was prompt and efficient and we left well satisfied and ready to brave the rain again. The Ramen Bar is definitely the right spot if you're craving comfort food!

The Ramen Bar
51 South William Street
Dublin 2
The Ramen Bar's Facebook Page

This is an independent review, I paid for my meal.