Another Japanese chain specializing in hearty tonkotsu ramen.
One of Bangkok’s latest ramen chains imported from Japan comes from the Southern island of Kyushu, but most people know it from its wildly popular Tokyo branches where near-permanent queues snake outside. At its first Bangkok opening, you won’t find quite the same hoards of people—during our last visit there were just four tables taken, though half of those were by Japanese natives. The apparent lack of popularity however shouldn’t detract from what’s some darn fine tonkotsu ramen.
In a space that feels more like a children’s play pen than a serious salaryman’s noodle haunt (think child-like crayon graphics and rainbow murals instead of bar stools and vaguely smutty comic collections), the kitchen dishes out a choice of four variations of different pork-bone broths: original, miso, Thai spiced and “black” (flavored with mayu garlic oil).
A portion of ramen starts at B180 for the original soup, but for that you don’t get many goodies hidden in your noodles. What you want is the “zenburi” bowl, which comes loaded with great big chunks of braised pork, a boiled egg and a dollop of salty, marinated cod roe. At B360, it’s a pretty pricey bowl of noodles, but those wobbling lumps of fatty meat make all the difference compared to your standard slithers of chashu. While the original stock is smooth and richly flavored, we also favor the garlicky black ramen, whose intimidating, heavy appearance disguises a flavor that’s actually quite refined, with unusual tastes of aniseed and chamomile poking through the salty broth.
Kyushu Jangara also gets some of the basics right, from the delicate, wispish noodles to the strongly wheaty strain of green tea (B40 with unlimited refill). But outside of the ramen you won’t find anything remarkable, whether it’s the limply filled and rather chewy gyoza (B89) or the slightly-too-greasy chicken karaage (B110). Dessert, too, is a single option of red bean paste atop a mound of dangerously artificial-tasting shaved ice (B60)—sweet and refreshing after a heavy bowl of noodles, but no culinary masterpiece.
Is Kyushu Jangara better than Thonglor tonkotsu mainstays like Yamagoya and Misoya? Probably not, but it definitely offers something different if you go for that black garlic sauce.
|Address:||Kyushu Jangara, 2/F, J Avenue, Thonglor Soi 15, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Price Range:||BB - BB|
|Open since:||July, 2015|
|Opening hours:||daily 10am-9pm|
|Nearest train||BTS Thong Lo|
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