Don’t ask me what the name means. I only know “Ramen” and “Silom”(road name.) It’s one of those eateries you find in the least expected places. It’s at the base of an old-fashioned condominium at Narathiwat Soi 1. It seems to have been around for quite some time and probably well-known to those who go to that area, but for me it was an area I hardly go to and a street I’ve never driven into.
What’s surprising is that walking out of the condominium parking (you can get your parking ticket validated at the eatery) you do not see the eatery right away. I saw another Japanese place and almost went there, but lo and behold suddenly this one appears. It’s surrounded by a lot of things, and it the daylight it’s not easy to spot, but when the lights come on, you see it clearly with the red lanterns and the lights shining from inside.
It’s small and simple inside. A wall full of photographs of the owner with celebrities and well-known people decorate the shop and japanese writings also adorn the walls. I always wonder if they have something unique that’s not on the menu.
The menu is dizzying. The large B5 sized menu is filled with pictures of many types of ramen, rice dishes and other japanese favorites. Too many makes it hard for me to choose and so I go with my favorite Mabo tofu with ramen. (It’s ramen with tofu sauce) and of course the tonkatsu (fried breaded pork) with japanese curry. The portions are HUGE. Not somewhere to go if you are on a diet, but a great place to go if you want to just eat and enjoy.
I liked the fact that the atmosphere took us out of the typical restaurant vibe we get in downtown Siam. It’s less hectic and probably because it was a lazy Sunday evening one could just chill and relax without feeling pressured to give up our table to the waiting customer. (I don’t know what it’s like on weekdays since it’s near to the business district)
The food was good and delicious for its price even though the ramen noodles were not made in-house. It wasn’t the best ramen I’ve ever had, but I think it is not too far off from the authentic ramen noodles I’ve had in Japan. (The owner is japanese and appears on the menu cover and on the photos on the wall) The tonkatsu was crispy and lean. However if you ask me to compare the tonkatsu to that at Saboten (another japanese eatery), I have to say Saboten still wins. The thing is, food at this eatery is roughly half the price of Saboten.
Dishes were around 140-250thb each which is a pretty good deal compared to other japanese restaurants downtown where a medium pork loin at Saboten can cost you around 290thb. The portions are large, the flavor authentic and the atmosphere unique. I could be somewhere in Soho.
Would I go back again? Yes I will. It’s one of those places that isn’t pretentious, the food good and a nice hideaway from the crowds of Bangkok city. Itadakimasu.