Amsterdam – Ramen-Ya

I have to confess, after weeks of feasting on pasta and pizza throughout Italy, both Stephen and I were craving Asian flavours. We had walked around Amsterdam’s Chinatown the night before and were drooling over the BBQ ducks hanging in shop windows and the aroma of stir fry. After a quick Google search, we headed to Ramen-ya for our first bowl of noodles in weeks (basically forever for us).

Atmosphere: Located in central Amsterdam, Ramen-ya was easy to find. While the storefront was at street level, the restaurant actually occupied the basement of the building and managed to feel spacious with high ceilings and an assortment of industrial pendant lights and chandeliers. Large round leather booths occupied much of the real estate in the dining area. While bulky, the booths spaced out tables, providing privacy and comfort, a rarity in most ramen shops.

Service: English menus were available and we had no difficulty communicating with our server. While placing our ramen order, we were asked to choose the broth richness and Stephen opted for extra rich. The server warned us that their tonkotsu broth was already super thick and many customers were not used to how rich it was. Stephen stuck to his choice and was happy with the bowl that appeared. Reading reviews online, quite a few people did rate Ramen-ya poorly because they felt the broth was too heavy. I could understand the server’s concern, but if you have an option for extra rich, and someone orders it, I feel it’s odd to deter them.

Food: Stephen ordered the Miso Hakata (tonkotsu broth with chashu, menma, ramen egg, leek, nori and sesame seeds), while I chose the Kimchi Ramen (chicken broth with kimchi, chashu, ramen egg, wood ear mushroom, green onions, nori and sesame seeds), two very different bowls.

My chicken broth was rich and well seasoned with a good amount of salt. I could really taste the layers of flavours in the broth, and it wasn’t all that light. Toppings felt a touch sparse with only half an egg and extra charges for black garlic oil and homemade layu (chili oil). Each table did have a small bottle of non homemade layu. My favourite component of my bowl was the thin noodles that had a nice bite and was great to slurp. Stephen’s broth was definitely thick, but too fatty. It clung to the noodle nicely and the topping of green onion threads helped to balance the richness.

Overall, Ramen-Ya served up solid bowl of ramen with a decadent broth and authentic flavours. It was a pricey bowl, over $20 Canadian, but I love being able to eat ramen all over the world and we will continue slurping up noodles wherever we go.

Amsterdam – Ramen-YaAmsterdam – Ramen-Ya

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