In their quest for authenticity, the team behind this restaurant traveled all the way to Fukuoka, Japan, for intensive training in ramen-making techniques. The result is the Hakata-style tonkutsu ramen served here, straight from the open kitchen of their simply-decorated shophouse in Siam. The décor is actually much more fun than you would expect from a typical ramen eatery, thanks in no small part to the proximity of the chefs cooking up steaming bowls of noodles. But the main draw remains, of course, the small and round noodles they serve up. Fresh and not floury, they can even be cooked to your liking, from a kind of al dente to very soft. You can tell they’re made with good eggs, too, which gives them a kind of richness and smoothness that goes particularly well with the chewy texture of the ramen’s dry version (B145), a sizzling hot charcoal pan in which the waiters stir fry the noodles at your table. The result is tender on the inside and crispy on the outside, all wrapped into one perfect bite. The flavors are just as impressive—mostly due to their red sauce, which is flavorful and strong. Even though the pork in a bowl of Suteiji ramen original (B170) is not of particularly high grade, the flavors are really rich, without going for the oily and milky shortcuts we’ve had elsewhere. Instead, the flavors here just seem to come from long hours spent reducing the ingredients. On the rice side, the stir-fried rice (B160) is loaded with little chunks of chashu pork that are nice and crispy, with lovely charred notes. When the main dishes are so pleasant, the appetizers only seem disappointing in comparison. The gyoza song krueng (B110), for example, comes with mayonnaise, an odd choice that fails to make it any less pedestrian. There are countless ramen eateries in town, but Ramen Suteiji is located in a neighborhood where good food isn’t that easy to find. Add exquisite ramen noodles and a succulent broth and you’ve got a real keeper. Outside wines/spirits not allowed.
|Ramen Suteiji, 412/11-12 Siam Square Soi 6, Bangkok, Thailand
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