Ramen is probably not the first food that comes to your mind when you think of Japan. But go beyond obvious options like sushi, and you will be surprised to learn that the steamy, soupy noodle dish has a cult following in Japan and is now considered a gourmet dish across the world.
Traditionally, a Japanese noodle dish, the gorgeous, soupy creation of ramen has made its way to this country, bringing with it an exotic range of wild flavours and sauces, meats and greens. One whiff of that steaming broth is enough to invoke serious hunger pangs as it bathes delicious ribbon-like strands of noodles, often topped with dried seaweed, in salty richness.
From Shoyu to Tonkotsu and beyond, the various culinary concoctions of ramen all have one thing in common: an irresistibly delectable broth, luscious with deep flavours and nuanced ingredients.
In India, ramen is gaining popularity, thanks to increasing Japanese investment in India, complemented by rising awareness of Japanese cuisine and a growing interest in manga, anime where the dish is portrayed as a comfort food enjoyed by the young and old alike. Ramen trends have only begun to catch up. Only very few people have introduced ramen so far. But India has been the land of Tibetan food of thupkas. Traditionally, India is not a soup country. We don’t have more soups that we could speak of.
The Origin of Modern Ramen
The first Chinese noodles served in Japan weren’t known as ramen at all. They have been referred to as shina soba. Shina is an archaic Japanese phrase for China and soba became a catch-all period for any noodles observed in Japan at the time, even though it typically noted buckwheat noodles. Because of its offensive connotations, the phrase shina ultimately fell out of use and became ultimately changed via way of means of ramen, which in all likelihood took place from the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese period lamian. The phrase lamian comes from la, because it is pulled, and mian, because it is noodles.
Though many stories are surrounding the origins of modern ramen, the one that’s most widely accepted by experts comes from the early 20th century. It’s believed that a noodle shop called Rai Rai Ken popularised the dish when it opened in Tokyo, Japan, in 1910. The Chinese cooks there served their wheat noodles in a salty broth and topped them with roasted pork, fish cake, and nori. These ingredients are still considered classic ramen toppings today.
Around the same time, Japan was becoming more industrialised. The country’s growing urban working class needed something cheap and filling to fuel their workdays, and ramen filled that need.
Places to visit in New Delhi to have yummy ramen:
Guppy has a vibrant decor that will leave you in awe of the place. They do a bunch of mouth-watering dishes, but if you’re in the mood for some piping-hot ramen on a rainy day, then this is your place. The scrumptious choices here include 5 Mushroom Suimono, Hokkaido Miso, Chicken Paitan and Chashu, which sounds pretty good to us TBH!
Where | Guppy - 28, Main Market, Lodhi Colony
Price | Rs 895 Onwards
Timings | 12 Noon - 10 PM
Over the years, Mamagoto has become a fave in the city for foodies, when they are in the mood for some southeast Asian cuisine. The restaurant is known for several mind-blowing dishes, but they also do comforting bowls of ramen that will uplift your mood. If you love your broth spicy, then Mama’s Spicy Ramen Bowl is something that you’d wanna try. While you’re at it, make sure to snap a pic of this colourful bowl of goodness!
Where | Mamagoto - DLF Promenade, Khan Market, C.P. And Other Outlets
Price | Rs 699
Timings | 12 Noon - 11:30 PM
3. Seoul Restaurant
If you wish to give Korean Ramen a try, then this place must be on your radar. The elegant restaurant serves some popular Korean favourites that you may have seen time and again on vlogger posts. Their soupy noodles include a variety of options like Ra Myeon, Kal Gug Su and Kong Gug Su, to name a few flavoursome yummies worth trying!
Where | Seoul Restaurant - 3rd Floor, Ansal Plaza, C Block, Near Siri Fort, Khel Gaon Marg
Price | Rs 550 Onwards
Timings | 11:30 AM - 3:30 PM, 5:30 - 10 PM (Monday - Friday), 11:30 AM - 10 PM (Saturday & Sunday)
Located on the jazzy streets of Aerocity, Kampai has gorgeous decor that brings in both contemporary and traditional Japanese dining area vibes. Their extensive menu loaded with scrumptious Japanese offerings will certainly leave you spoilt for choice. The tempting ramen options here include Shoyu, Mushroom Truffle and Miso, to name a select few options.
Where | Kampai - 02, Ground Floor, Worldmark 1, Aerocity
Price | Rs 550 Onwards
Timings | 12 Noon - 12 Midnight