Sendai Ramen Mokkori
Thonglor's ramen veteran is big on charm.
In an age of prefab imported ramen chains that slot nicely into shopping malls, this dingy shophouse near the top of Thonglor stands apart. We’ve been dozens of times, and can only remember once when the owner—his face blazoned on menus and promo flyers as he strums his sieve like a banjo—hasn’t personally been manning the stoves, bellowing out an “irasshaimase!” to everyone who walks in the door.
It’s not just on atmosphere where Sendai scores some serious kudos, either. The menu kicks off with karamiso ramen—a spicy broth made from miso which the Japanese will tell you is the hardest ramen style to master. Here the taste is rich and stewy, while the dollop of slightly sweet, salty chili paste gives the bowl a genuine kick. The dish starts at just B160, and for that you get a mammoth portion even by ramen standards. What the menu doesn’t tell you is that you can actually request a “small size” for B140, which should be plenty enough for most stomachs.
We’ve had more delicately prepared bowls of ramen before, no doubt—the yolk of your egg is not perfectly fudgy, the noodles don’t have an al dente bite, and the broth becomes grainy towards the bottom—but nitpicking Sendai over the little details ignores that this is one of the most satisfying ramen experiences in the city. It’s a place where density and comfort rule over delicacy.
Same story with the rest of the menu, where tempura prawns (B170 for seven) coated in heavy batter and gyoza (B80 for five) wrapped up in chewy, oily dough are enough to send you into a starch-driven food coma. The okonomiyaki—Osaka’s demi-glace and mayo-strewn potato pancake—is also far from the best, though still delicious enough to have you going back for more.
The only time we’d recommend you skirt Sendai and choose one of its many neighbors is if you’re after katsu curry, in which case Grand Ramen across the street has you more than covered. For everything else, Sendai gets the nod. Dishes can be a long way from perfection, but the place has something just as important: charm.
This review took place in October 2016 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.
|Address:||Sendai Ramen Mokkori, 8/3 Thonglor Soi 2, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||daily 11-2am|
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