There’s a saying that the simplest is always the most difficult, and that analogy stays true especially in the world of ramen. Underneath noodles, broth and toppings, lies something much more complicated; and that’s the reason why this comforting Japanese staple is well loved throughout the world.
While Bangkok Foodies may have tried some of the best ramen right here in the city, we think that this little ramen shop in Thonglor is definitely a game changer. Rockmen or 69men have taken the art of ramen making to another level with very limited serving, exclusive ingredients and most important of all, eyes for details!
This mysterious shop may look just like any other ramen establishment, but upon closer inspection, there’s a process involved before you get to sip and slurp. You’ll have to sign up on a waitlist for both lunch and dinner time, which open for signing up at approximately 1 hour before serving time. There are only 69 or less bowls being made in a day, the number which are divided between lunch and dinner. As you can imagine, ramen fans are going to have to fight for this one!
The rockstar duo behind this exclusive ramen shop, Shin Inoue and Aki Fujisawa who have been a long term collaborator and friend have had their success with the first branch of Rockmen in Tokyo before opening their shop in Bangkok this past January. “We came to the conclusion from more than 8 years of trials and errors, that 69 bowls of ramen are a perfect number for us to maintain the quality of all the components that go into the ramen. In fact we would make 70 bowls, leave one to taste and serve 69, that’s why we have a limited number of servings a day,” said Shin.
Bangkok Foodies first encounter with Chef Shin Inoue who’s name appears in the subtitle of the restaurant, much like a rockstar or should we say Superman, strides into the shop in a white tailored shirt, pressed slacks, slicked stylised hair and briefcase in hand, to ‘fly’ up to the mezzanine floor to change into his bright red chef’s robes, ready to reveal his magical pots and trays of ramen components and follow with the notorious noodle combing ceremony.
Most of their ingredients are imported straight from Japan, while the key component of the ramen, the soups are made in house with their own recipe. Their 2 signature ramen, Shio which means salt and Shoyu Ramen are the main attraction for ramen lovers, while there are special menus in rotation every few months depending on seasonal ingredients. Either Shin or Aki will be crafting your ramen from the beginning to finish, so you know you’re in good hands.
“Each bowl takes about 4-5 minutes to make, and you have to enjoy it immediately as it serves,” said Shin as we watched the magic unfold. First it was the Shio Ramen, where he used a mix of 3 different oils; Chicken, Oyster and Yuzu Oil for aroma. To his left side the assistant prep and layout each ingredient that will go into the bowl precisely.
When the noodle is finished cooking, newcomers may be amazing to witness that Shin carefully brushes through the noodle with tweezers, with razor-like precision, taking that extra step to ensure that the noodle doesn’t stick together, giving it a more smooth and pleasant mouth-feel and to supposedly, assists in the distribution of flavour. “Plus, it looks beautiful in a bowl,” said Shin with a smile as he arranged all the components of the ramen on top of the noodle and served us a picture perfect bowl of their signature Shio Ramen. Enjoy it with a side of refreshing Yuzu Kosho.
Another signature menu, the Shoyu Ramen varied slightly from Shio Ramen as it was composed of 3 different shoyu all together in one bowl for a perfect umami flavour. The eggs used in each type of ramen are also different, as the chefs believe that they should give different experience to the whole flavour of the bowl; the pink egg used in Shio Ramen are made with Sakura Shrimp imported from Japan while the brown egg in Shoyu ramen are marinated in Shoyu.
Foodies will elevate their ramen experience even more by eating them traditionally. “First you have to taste the soup, then the noodle separately, take a bit of seaweed and mix it into the soup and taste it as well, after that while having the ramen, you’re supposed to slurp it with sound and finish everything including the soup,” said Aki. We are happy to enjoy their specialty to the very last drop and delighted by a secret message hidden at the bottom of our Shoyu Ramen’s bowl, ‘Ramen can make people happy’ and we couldn’t agree more.
Hours: Lunch booking starts at 11AM, serving from 12PM-3PM, Dinner booking starts at 5PM, serving from 6PM-9PM.
Tel: +66 091 887 9469
44, 11 Soi Akapat Sukhumvit 55 Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Tan Nuea, Khet Watthana, Bangkok 10110
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