Ramen Asian Street Food (Douglas Village)
Ramen – Asian Street Food arrived as a fully-formed, hot-to-trot modern package on the Cork food scene, ready loaded with its snapchats, hashtags, and instagrams, its open kitchens, its hip carton cuisine and its droll ice-cream vending machines. You can order on line, or on foot, and they call you by name when your food is ready. The food is offered on a covetable steel tray, in a carton with a wafer cone. If you choose to sit in, you can slide the food into a white bowl, and use the black plastic cutlery or chopsticks that sit on the counter with the chilli oil and soy sauce. It's clever, and it's fun.
The design of the Ramen rooms is funky, and understated without being timid. They have the minimalist exposed panels, but they're still quite clubby with the restaurant motif cut decoratively into the wooden seats. The cartons are deceptively large, so portions are generous: no wonder the branch near to UCC has become Student Heaven, and packed out all the hours of the day. The food may have been transported from its original Asian origin to Cork, but each of the Ramen dishes is singular and different in flavour and texture. There is a lightness and freshness that comes from real vegetables, and good quality raw ingredients – including the rice and noodles themselves – and there is a happy lack of the usual taste-killers often found in this type of food.
The Ramen rooms are fun, and a great addition to Cork and its surroundings, as the county's culinary culture gears up. Great staff, and excellent value for money, seal the deal, Ramen-style.
Also at: 21 Anglesea Street, Cork; Distillery Lane, Midleton, County Cork; Unit 26, Ballincollig Shopping Centre, Cork; 1 Dennehy's Cross, Cork
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