Japanese lanterns and a bowl of beauty
I discovered one of my favourite Torisoba Nanase Japanese chicken Ramen shops by pure chance.
Illuminated by the warm glow of the Japanese lanterns dangling outside, the wisps of steam curling upwards from the boiling broth inside were enough to lure me in.
Feeling relaxed and hungry after a long massage at the parlour next door, I was easy prey for the charms, and odours, of this atmospheric-looking Ramen shop.
Inside I noticed that the photos covering the wall, like a gastronomy-themed wallpaper, were, in fact, the shop’s extensive menu. After scanning the wall for a few drooling minutes, I opted for a bowl of Nanase Tomyam Ramen, Taiwan Maze Soba, Tanrei Soba and steamed Gyoza. I found out later that this particular shop is a Japanese franchise specialising in Shiba style chicken broth.
My bowl of Tenrei Soba was served in a tasty soy sauce soup, decorated with a sprinkling of fried sliced shallots. From the colour of the soup alone I knew this was going to be unique–when it comes to chicken broth, these guys are serious!
The deep flavour of the broth is created by boiling down a vast volume of chicken bones, making the resultant soup rich in collagen, oil and, best of all, flavour. It’s almost creamy it’s so concentrated and rich. Japanese women drink the broth for its medicinal properties, with collagen being particularly effective for healthy bones and a good complexion.
Instead of seasoning my broth with Kaeshi sauce, I decided to sample my friend’s bowl of Tomyam Ramen. The broth was just as rich as mine, but the spiciness of the soup created a sharper, tangier note. I might have felt guilty for pilfering my friend’s soup, but it was so tasty there was no time for regret. I took my time, carefully fishing out a few strands of Ramen from the soup, slowly hauling them in with my chopsticks so I could savour every broth-drenched mouthful.
The other dishes, while not the highlight, were excellent too. The steamed Gyoza was oh so tender. The rice flour skin wasn’t too thick while the filling was aromatic, juicy and tasty. The Taiwan Maze Soba was no slouch either. Unlike the menu picture on the wall, it was served without an accompanying soup. Instead, the bed of al dente soba was adorned with an assortment of seaweed, vegetables, chilli and eggs. I gently mixed the soba and accompaniments until the dish harmonised into a delicious and hearty ensemble that was a satisfying counterbalance to the rich chicken soup.
Curious to know the most popular choice, I was informed that Negi Soba with extra soba was the favourite for Japanese diners. Checking their recommendation against the menu photos, I noted that the Negi Soba was served with the shop’s signature chicken broth–those savvy Japanese diners were getting the best of both worlds!
If you’d like to try for yourself head to BTS Onnut, then walk to Sukhumvit 79–where you can also grab a pre-meal massage before treating yourself to the joys of one of Bangkok’s best Raman and chicken broth shops.
Address: Torisoba Nanase opens from 10 am until midnight, and is closed on the last Wednesday of the month. It is in Soi Sukhumvit 79, 20 meters in the Soi with Japanese lanterns hanging over the food cart.