Monday, March 5

chEAT SHEET: Ramen Bankara

There's nothing like a hearty bowl of ramen when feeling under the weather.  I needed something warm, comforting, and delightfully good to fill my soul over the weekend and I thought it best to eat in good company.  There are quite a number of ramen shops to choose from in Bangkok and I have about 2 I frequent (originally 3 until I found out the one in my soi had just closed).  

Ramen Bankara is pure genius if you ask me.  You can choose from 4 different kinds of broth and I always gravitate towards the Bankara Special, on tonkotsu broth.  If you're having their typical one, a slice of chasu (pork) is not enough - order extra slices and thank me later.  Another option which I always do, is to order it with the slowly-braised pork belly.  I know, it's just fat on fat, but this is what epic bowls of ramen are truly made out of... good broth, melt-in-your-mouth pork meat and pork fat, and need I mention, great noodles?  I also make use of the unlimited peeled garlic by pressing it into my bowl, mid-way through the meal, when I feel satiated by the hearty flavor - it definitely adds a pungent kick!  And oh, they also have crushed roasted sesame seeds which you can add as your heart desires.  Oishi desu.  Oishi. Oishi.  Oishi.
You'll have to make do with the photos because when a hot bowl of ramen is in front of me, I forget everything (and everyone).  I had initially planned on taking the usual raise-the-noodle-with-your-chopstick shot but had only remembered I had wanted to do this after my bowl was wiped out (pfffft!).  
And what's not to like about this place?  You can pretty much build your own ramen by ordering extras from butter, corn, nori, bamboo shoots, slices of pork, scallions, eggs -- you get my drift.  Just take note though, that I usually order my ramen with less oil, just so I can find the excuse for the extra order of pork slices and fat.  Yes, I'm a girl full of contradictions, you just have to come to terms with that. 
By now you should also know that I do have an insatiable appetite.  My ramen fix won't be complete without an order of gyoza.  Theirs is pretty good too.
You may call me a karaage snob.  This one did not quite get my seal of approval.  But hey, I'm not complaining, you visit Ramen Bankara for their ramens.  If you ask me why this order didn't quite hit the spot, the chicken could've used a higher pick-up of coating, which also needed better adhesion.  Also, I prefer eating this with salt and pepper on the side.  
Word of caution:  finding a table here takes time and their last order is taken by 22:30.  I find it easiest to get a table around 2pm.  
To finish off a meal full of umami and kokumi, you must, must I say, order macha ice cream.  It sort of cleanses your palate.  To be honest, I could have had this order all to myself but my friends were already full.  There is after all, a gene of restraint in me, considering moderation in all things good is something I'm not very good at.  All or nothing baby!  And in Ramen Bankara, you'd have to go all the way.

Fancy sesame broth or curry ramen?  I'll fill you in on the details some other time.  It's in another place equally deserving of another post. 

Ramen Bankara
The Manor, Sukhumvit soi 39
Bangkok, Thailand