It’s already hit hard in other parts of Asia, but “beer ramen,” a current viral food trend, has arrived in Bangkok at the two locations of Uchidaya Ramen.
Billed as “Kampai Ramen” and introduced as part of their sixth anniversary celebration, the dish, or we mean… the mug, can be had for THB229 (US$7).
If you’ve been following the trend, you’ll already know that beer ramen isn’t beer at all — it’s just designed to look like it is.
Built to appear like a foamy mug of brew with noodles dumped in it, the not particularly appetizing premise actually arrives at diners’ tables as cold Japanese-style noodle soup topped with a white layer.
In other places, the dish has been topped with egg foam to create the “head.” However, this Bangkok ramen shop has put their own spin on it, creating a dish that looks like others but has some notable differences.
Uchidaya’s offering is still zaru ramen (or cold soba noodles) but they’ve topped theirs with whipped nagaimo (or Japanese white yam), as Passarakarn Chitisen, who works in marketing for the brand, told Coconuts.
Their broth, instead of being a miso-style as other places who make the dish have used due to its coloring similar to beer, is a mentsuyu base, which is the sake and soy sauce broth usually served with udon and soba. The mug is finished with scallion, dried seaweed, and radish.
So, cold noodles in savory, salty broth topped with a variation on mashed potatoes? Actually sounds kinda great.
The new dish at Uchidaya, introduced a few weeks ago, is available at both their Sukhumvit and Surawong locations. It has, predictably, been drawing long lines of people wanting to try the new offering and take cutesy photos.
Large signs promoting the new dish at the restaurants make it clear — the dish has “0% alcohol,” so you won’t be able to catch a discreet buzz from downing these noodles, but you can give them to your kids to snap some funny pics.
Judging from social media, the Shakariki 432 izakayas in Bangkok also introduced beer ramen at some point last month, but a recent visit to their On Nut location didn’t show it on the menu.
The timing for the introduction of the dish in Bangkok is a bit regrettable, since the cold season just broke in Thailand (even though it doesn’t feel like it at the moment) and cold noodles would have been a more timely sell in the middle of the hot season, on those days so steamy the thought of hot food is nausea-inducing.
Uchidaya Ramen (2 locations)
23/12-13 Surawong (11am-2am daily, BTS Sala Daeng)
107 Sukhumvit Soi 31 (11am-midnight daily, BTS Phrom Pong)