Authentic ramen served in a homely space
Barcelona has long been renowned for its outstanding Japanese sushi restaurants. In fact, the city’s Michelin-starred Koy Shunka has frequently been lauded by many Japanophiles as the best sushi restaurant outside of Japan. And with all this considered, it’s not all too surprising that the Catalan capital is now brimming with trendy ramen bars.
For the uninitiated, ramen is a type of noodle soup served in a rich broth and topped with meat (usually pork) and various vegetables. But although we in the Western World have put the dish on a pedestal and marketed it as a “trendy” way to eat, its roots are a lot more humble. In Japan and some parts of China, ramen is simple dish to be enjoyed during a busy day at work. It’s a quick, delicious and affordable fix.
And this is where Ramen Suita becomes relevant in Barcelona. Whilst most ramen joints are trendy affairs aimed at the “hipster” market (if there is such a thing), Ramen Suita is more of a low-key neighbourhood-style ramen place that’s more faithful to the ramen bars of Japan.
Located in a suitably unassuming location hidden down a quiet side street near Placa Espanya, there is absolutely nothing pretentious about it. This is no doubt down to the fact that it is owned by Yoshi, a Japanese chef from Osaka, and his wife (half Italian, half Columbian) Violeta. The dining space is intimate and cosy, with a vintage tourism posters portraying various scenes of jollity in Japan. The kitchen is partially open and, depending on where you sit, you can see and hear Yoshi making his noodles and perfecting each bowl.
Start with a selection of “JapoTapas”, such as edamame and gyoza, which are stuffed with pork, veal, ginger and a few of Yoshi’s other secret ingredients, before being simmered to perfection.
Delectable gyoza aside, the main event is of course the ramen, which is served in two different varieties: “Shoyu Ramen” features a soy sauce-base, whilst the “Miso Ramen” is a slightly thicker and richer miso-based broth. Toppings include a colourful array of traditional ingredients, including a marinated boiled egg, vegetables, seaweed and, of course, a few essential slithers of succulent pork. There’s also a vegetarian version with tofu, which I can confirm (because of my vegetarian girlfriend) is equally as delicious as the meat version.
Pair with Japanese Asaki Beer or ask Violeta about their selection of local craft beers. Finish with homemade matcha cheesecake (another Japanese staple) and a shot of umesku plum brandy for good luck.
Ramen Suita brings authentic and delicious ramen to Barcelona, but more importantly it does it whilst staying faithful to the dish’s humble roots. This is what it’s all about.
Ramen SuitaCarrer del Príncep Jordi, 6, 08014 Barcelona, Spain
Area: Sants / Montjuïc
Website: Ramen Suita - Barcelona
Opening hours: monday 8pm 10:40pm // tuesday sunday 1:30 pm - 3:40pm & 8pm 10:40pm
Phone: +34 930 17 17 05