Uma Uma Jin
The Commons completes the comfort-food set with this ramen arrival
The buzz: The 60-year-old Fukuoka name with branches in Asoke and Silom adds ramen to the comfort-food lineup at The Commons. Best known for its rich, Hakata-style ramen broth, Uma Uma also rolls out a large selection of kushiyaki (grilled skewers) and insanely good gyoza. The tiny, “express” version of the restaurant resembles the eat-in ramen joints you can find all over Japan.
The decor: Nestled between Egg My God and Fowlmouth in The Commons' food court-like ground floor, this small spot seats no more than three people. You’ll easily pick it out for the neon signage, nori curtains and sake fridge out front. The small kitchen has a window right over the grill so you can watch your skewers being made. Of course, there’s plenty of seating elsewhere around the mall.
The food: As with the other branches, the pride of the place is a steaming bowl of tonkotsu ramen (B220) boasting tender pork and a rich broth benefiting from over 18 hours of simmering. For something not quite as heavy, there’s the mazesoba (B250), a form of dry ramen made with chunkier noodles topped with spring onions, bamboo shoots, chashu and onsen egg. Arguably even more enticing is the the kushiyaki selection—try the tori kawa (B60), skewers of delightfully crisp chicken skin, or gyu tan (B85), moreish beef tongue. For a mix of meat and veg, order the Moriwase 2 set (B330), which is perfect for sharing. The hitokuchi gyoza (B80/5pc) are another must-order: perfect bite-size dumplings filled with pork and cabbage.
The drinks: Classic Japanese offerings like ice-cold Sapporo beer (B200), highballs (from B160) or just order a whole bottle of Suntory Kakubin whiskey (B1,300) to share with your friends. Sake comes from the same supplier behind Ekkamai’s Orihara Shoten so you know it’s top quality—try the Masumi Tokusen Honjozo Sake (B600/300ml) from something smooth from Nagano prefecture.
Why we’d go back: Uma Uma’s other two branches are Japanese salaryman havens, the implication being that this is tonkotsu ramen to be reckoned with. Expect some funky collaborations with next door’s Egg My God to match the cool new setting. Megan Leon