Instant deliciousness

Slurp-worthy instant noodle places you need to check out now!

One could say that instant noodles are the quintessential home kitchen staple in Thailand. They are a source of comfort in times of stress, easy to whip up and fit in well with our busy schedules. Guru has tracked down three truly slurp-worthy instant noodle places as well as three other distinct instant-noodle based dishes worth checking out.

MaMa San Thailand -- WorldWide Instant Noodles Shop

Walking into the airy space of MaMa San Thailand, with its glass displays holding ramen packages from all over the world, one gets the sense that he/she is entering a mama museum.

Here, the ramen flavours range from super yummy to downright bizarre. Take the bubble tea ramen for instance. It has a milky soup and comes with chewy pearls and a straw to slurp what's left in the bowl after eating the noodles. Another interesting flavour is corn cheese, which tastes exactly like dessert.

As one might expect, there is a wide spectrum of spice levels available and the owner, an instant noodle enthusiast who is more like the curator of the place, enjoys helping his customers to choose their perfect ramen. Price varies from B10-B150 per packet.

Once you've picked out the package of noodles that appeals to you, head over to the self-cook machine, which sits near shelves of ingredients that can help your ramen reach the next level. Popular toppings include cheese, eggs, crab sticks, wagame, sliced beef and chicken sausage. Each topping costs between a reasonable B5 to B20. After selecting toppings, place them and the noodles into an aluminium bowl and place it on the stove attached to the machine. The machine will add water and cook the noodles to a perfectly soft, yet not soggy, texture.

The shop has 60 flavours that rotate weekly, with the majority of them being imported from all over Asia. Customers can keep themselves updated on the shop's FB page to see the top picks for the week. When Guru visited, the owner mentioned that two more branches are going to be added in Nonthaburi and Sri Racha in the near future.

MaMa San Thailand - WorldWide Instant Noodles Shop, Koh Kret, Pak Kret District/ Call 092-784-5400, visit fb.com/mamasanthailand.


HanGang Ramyun

During the course of the pandemic, many have been binging on K-dramas and ordering in spicy ramyeon. If you're one of them and yearn to indulge your fantasy of being in Seoul, HanGang Ramyun might be able to grant you temporary reprieve.

HanGang Ramyun has created an experience that is evocative of the street food scene along the Hangang River in Seoul. At the banks of the river, it is common to see Koreans picnicking with a selection of treats purchased from the stores situated nearby. In a similar fashion, HanGang Ramyun in Bangkok allows customers to create the perfect bowl of ramyeon that can be slurped down at the nearby garden. Customers need not bring their own picnic essentials, as the shop has prepared picnic sets complete with a mat, a small foldable table and a basket.

The first step in having the perfect ramyeon picnic experience is to head to the shop to pick out your instant noodles and its toppings. There are 16 rotating noodle flavours available (B60), as well as superb toppings, like homemade kimchi (B20), egg (B5), sausage (B15) and cheese toks (B15). After payment, pop over to the noodle-making machine and watch your raw noodles get perfectly cooked. If you're craving side dishes, get the Spicy fried chicken with burning spicy sauce (B100) and crispy Korean dumplings (B90). Finally, grab a picnic set and your food, pick a spot on the garden, get comfy and enjoy your temporary escape to Seoul.

Recently, the eatery has begun offering instant noodles that are friendly to halal, vegan and vegetarian diets.

HanGang Ramyun, Sukhumvit 21 / Call 085-109-1009, visit fb.com/hangangramyun.


Suan Bamee

In the narrow space underneath an elevator that connects the ground and basement levels of Rajanakarn Building stands Suan Bamee. Meaning "the garden of instant noodles", Suan Bamee serves up instant noodles the way most Thai mums would cook it for their kids, adding nutrients that plain ramen noodles are generally void of. Sumptuous add-ons include eggs, minced pork and a variety of vegetables. Although it sounds like the end result might still be quite simple, the eatery manages to dole out noodles that are utterly addictive. In fact, the eatery is so well-received that by noon, its intimate space is packed with the Chong Nonsi office crowd, extending the approximate waiting time to 20 minutes. Hence, it is a good idea to head there before noon or after 1pm.

The noodle bar showcases about 20 instant noodle flavours from Thai brands. There are many spicy ones available, but if you're someone who likes your noodles extra fiery, you can request the kitchen to kick up the spice a notch, when ordering. Toppings include Vietnamese pork sausage, ham, minced pork, eggs, tinned fish and vegetables. Prices vary from B40-B80. The soup, which is seasoned using the seasoning from the instant noodle package as well as other condiments, is exceptionally satisfying thanks to the addition of beaten eggs, producing a creamy effect.

To snack on while waiting for your food to be prepared, the eatery also offers fried treats, such as dumplings, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and spring rolls, at B25 each.

Do not expect much in terms of ambience within the eatery, as it's situated beneath an escalator in an underground food court. However, recent renovations have brightened up the place and made it look more modern.

Suan Bamee, Rajanakarn Building, Sathon Tai Road.


Phed Phed Lhay

In a city full of creative upgrades to humble instant noodles, Phed Phed Lhay's riff, in the form of yum (spicy Thai-style salad) bathed in super flavourful nam plara (fermented fish sauce), truly stands out. The intensity of the nam plara is balanced out with other seasonings to create a highly palatable dish. More highlights of Phed Phed Lhay's version include thick chunks of crispy pork belly and teeth-shattering rinds. If you don't usually eat food that is very spicy, proceed with caution, as smashed bird's eye chillies are normally scattered over this dish like confetti over a parade. However, you can still enjoy this dish by simply letting the restaurant know the level of heat you prefer when you order. Price is B200.

Phed Phed Lhay, Phahon Yothin 8 / Call 063-446-3423, visit fb.com/PhedPhedFood.


Jay Oh

At Jay Oh Chula, the dining space hums with a never-ending crowd of loyal customers and first-timers from all over the city. The younger crowds are here primarily for the Mama Oh Ho!, an instant noodle dish packed with pork and a variety of seafood, making the dish absolutely atomic. It's spicy and pleasantly sour, with a thick, lip-smacking tom yum soup. Prices range from B100 to B800, which might sound steep for instant noodles. However, bear in mind that portion sizes are large (4 to 6 people can share a portion) and toppings are certainly premium (big chunks of crab meat, plump shrimp, thick cuts of crispy pork belly and fish, just to name a few).

Jay Oh, Soi Charasmuang Road / Call 064-118-5888.


Talay Ari

Mama pad kee mao is a humble instant noodle dish that packs a lot of heat. This spicy, stir-fried creation is undeniably one of Thailand's favourite ways to enjoy instant noodles and you'll find it offered in almost every stretch of street food and in casual eateries across the country. If you're hankering for it, but want a more premium version, hit up the cosy dining room of Talay Ari. They're offering a more complex mama pad kee mao that might be right up your alley. Richly sauced instant noodles are topped with fat chunks of crab meat, spicy whole shrimp and soft scrambled eggs that lend a satisfying creamy texture to the dish. The dish costs B260 and you'll be quite pleased with the amount of seafood they put into each portion.

Talay Ari, Soi Ari 1 / Call 02-083-2239, visit fb.com/TalayAriHomecafe.

Do you like the content of this article?
  COMMENT