There are certainly several wannabes that are vying for the crown of BKK ramen king, as new ramen joints seem to be sprouting up by the month (Ramen Planet at Seenspace Thong Lor being the latest example). All the more reason the top noodler needs to meet strict requirements and possess certain characteristics for it to be awarded the medal of best ramen house by KohSpot and separate itself from the wannabes. Tan Tan Men may be such a place.
Let’s start with the basics. You must have delicious ramen, and Tan Tan Men’s signature dish delivers the goods, with yellow noodles cradling rich slabs of savory pork, with half a boiled egg, green onions, cabbage, some dark brown root, and a broth that will make your hairs stand up. The whole thing is going to be pretty salty, so you need condiments like pepper, soy sauce, chili oil and a dried picante with black sesame seeds that balance the mixture of flavors in a harmonious fashion. This is science and Tan Tan Ramen has a PhD in ingredient engineering.
There are two versions of this dish, the tonkotsushio (broth is made with salt) and the tonkotsushoyu (broth made with soy sauce), both 160 baht, but KohSpot recommends the latter unless you want high blood pressure.
Next up on the list of a good ramen house requirements is brisk service, and Tan Tan Men’s ramen dishes are delivered almost shockingly fast, but the service is always polite, attentive and never hurried.
Also required is a ridiculous amount of anime books so that you get the full Japanese experience. Tan Tan Men realizes that ramen house without anime is like an American football game without cheerleaders and has been providing customers with a healthy library of anime since day one. We are confident that their neighbors to the north east would approve.
Finally, hefty portion size is a must—you don’t want to walk away from a noodle soup feeling unfulfilled. Once again, Tan Tan Men delivers by serving up Ramen in bowls that are literally big enough to fit a small baby inside (yes, we tried). If you eat here for lunch you won’t need to eat a dinner. It’s that substantial.
An Asahi (130 baht) is always good to accompany a bowl of noodles. The restaurant has an extensive menu including curry (150 baht), tonkatsu, yakisoba (150 baht) and tempura (180 baht), but stick to the ramen and you won’t be disappointed.
For some reason (money), this eatery remodeled and is now slimmer but on two stories while a fancier Japanese restaurant takes up the other half. Sit downstairs if possible so you can watch the chefs potter around the kitchen and bark out orders to the wait staff.
Tan Tan Ramen, Momofuku Ando is looking down at you and smiling.
Location: 595/20 Sukhumvit Soi 33/1, just past Robin Hood
Mass transit: BTS Phrom Pong
Hours: 11 am-midnight daily