BANGKOK RESTAURANT

Ramen Santouka

3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

The buzz: Joining a host of ramen eateries nearby like Saboten and Yumemiya, Santouka flew into Bangkok having already opened 40 branches across Japan, the US and Canada. After some training at the mother branch in Hokkaido, the owner, Pornpawan Chamriangrit, came back home with a Japanese chef in tow with a mission to search high and low for the right ingredients to achieve the original taste of the chain’s signature rich soup and its tender pork.

The décor: The interior is similar in style to the mother branch in Northern Japan; that is, the dining room is decorated with mainly dark-colored wooden furniture and a central lamp resembling a snowflake hanging from the ceiling to give you the feeling of a Japanese winter.

The food: After boiling the soup with imported salt and pork bones for 16 hours using the same recipe as in Hokkaido, they’ve got a rich flavored stock used to make three main kinds of ramen (B230)—shio ramen (salt flavor), shoyu (soy sauce flavor) and miso (soybean paste flavor). You can then choose from toppings like green onion, mushroom and bamboo shoot. Otherwise, go for dishes like kara miso ramen (spicy soybean paste flavor, B240) and char siu ramen (pork belly, B270). We recommend ordering the aburi tokusen toroniku (roasted pork cheek, B140) to go with your ramen, but do make sure you get there early as this dish is limited to just 40 servings per day. If you’re really hungry, get a side of gyoza (dumplings stuffed with kurobuta pork, B120), or even try one of the sets (B290-B340) which come with salad, soup and stir-fried rice.

The drinks: Typical of a ramen shop, you can expect green tea (B50), fruit juice (B130), a variety of sake (B250) and Asahi beer (B90).

The crowd: Japanese coming for familiar ramen flavors, office workers and families. Kornkamol Porapuckham

Joining a host of nearby ramen eateries like Saboten and Yumemiya, Santouka landed in Bangkok having already opened 40 branches across Japan, the US and Canada. After some training at the mother branch in Hokkaido, the owner, Pornpawan Chamriangrit, came back home with a Japanese chef in tow and a mission to achieve the original taste of the chain’s signature rich soup and tender pork.

We like the quality of their produce and that the menu contains so many options to fine-tune things, despite being almost solely dedicated to ramen. After boiling the soup with imported salt and pork bones for 16 hours using the same recipe as in Hokkaido, they get a base stock that they use in three main kinds of ramen (ranging from B190 for the not-so-small bowls to B300 for the biggest ones)—shio ramen (salt flavor), shoyu (soy sauce flavor) and miso (soybean paste flavor).

You can then choose from toppings like green onion, mushroom and bamboo shoot. Other options include kara miso ramen (spicy soybean paste flavor, B200/240/270) and char siu ramen (with pork belly, B230/270/300). We also recommend ordering an extra side dish of aburi tokusen toroniku (roasted pork cheek, B140), a decadent accompaniment to your soup.

Despite all this, we find the stock oddly lacking in flavor compared to Chabuton or Ramentei—nor are the noodles particularly eggy, silky or bouncy. Santouka is good, but not among the best. Still, we do love the little side dishes on offer, such as the delicious char siu-pai buns (B100), filled with succulent pork in an addictive teriyaki sauce, or the ikura gohan (B300), a simple bowl of rice heaped with salmon roe—it’s also available in sets (B450) with ramen, steamed egg custard and a little salad.

Typical of a ramen shop, you can expect green tea (B50), fruit juice (B130), a variety of sake (B250) and Asahi beer (B90). And just as typically, you can expect plenty of Japanese expats and office workers.

Venue Details
Address: Ramen Santouka, 6/F, Isetan, Ratchadamri Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-255-9895
Area: Ratchadamri
Cuisine: Japanese
Price Range: B
Open since: April, 2013
Opening hours: daily 11am-10pm
Parking available
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