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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hachiban Ramen


The power of eight

Hachiban Ramen was brought to Bangkok for two decades, from Toyama (in the central of Japan Sea region), Japan. Hachiban began with eight shops from Toyama to Osaka along the highway therefore with the symbol 8 as shop name at that time. Later rename to Hachiban, as hachi means eight in Japanese, and ban means good. I ask my J-friend if they can still find any Hachiban branches in Toyama but in no avail, instead in Bangkok it had been developed into the well known ramen dine-in fast food chain invades all major shopping centers across the country.

Gyoza or deep-fried dumpling claimed to be ramen best friend, so we started our lunch with gyoza. Gyoza in Hachiban was meaty with a balance of vegetables fillings. It was simply good and we kept going back for more gyoza throughout our dining there. We also ordered the Stir-fried Vegetables with Japanese vinegar sauce. Taste was on the heavy side but still keeping a balance within the scope of fine taste.

For the ramen, what shouldn’t be missed was the Chashu ramen (sliced pork ramen in soy sauce broth). The Shoyo soup base was fair enough though not outstanding but it had surpassed all fast food standards, and cost was only B69 (US$2), slightly higher than the local roadside noodle. The Tomyum ramen (sliced pork ramen in Thai spicy and sour broth) was fancy enough in a Japanese ramen shop therefore we couldn’t miss one. The Thai tomyum soup married to Japanese ramen would be more appreciated if Hachiban work harder on the tomyum soup base. Further we picked a bowl of the Pork Cutlet Ramen, same broth of chashu ramen as it was in the shoyo family. The generous cut of battered pork cutlet filled our stomach with satisfaction; then came the Tonkotsu ramen (sliced pork ramen in pork bone Tonkotsu broth), served with Beni Shoga (pickled ginger in red color) and vegetables in milky white Tonkotsu soup and a few pieces of sliced pork didn’t make itself a star.

Hachiban also included Chinese-influenced noodles in the menu, such as the Tsuke-men (dipping chilled noodles), and the Hiyashi-chuka (chilled Chinese noodles) served with a bowl of vinegary soy dressing and Japanese mustard. We ordered bottled mineral water and Lemon Soda during the meal.

After all, we didn’t feel like eating in a fast food establishment as food in Hachiban was fair while seating was comfortable plus a bonus of attentive service. Oh, the fast food part may be referred to the price then!

Our Ratings (1 to 5 the higher the better)= Hachiban has [3.6]
(Ratings are based on Food, Service and Ambience, with Price taken into account in relation to Quality) Food =3, Ambiance=3, Money Worth=4.5, Service=4)

Hachiban (8) Ramen can be found in major shopping malls in Thailand. Most shops open daily from 11am to 10pm.

Pay (food only for two): around THB 150

1 comment:

Stella said...

Nice pictures.
Your photo skill becomes more and more fancy.:)