It’s a never-ending affair for Japanese food here. The latest to land on the shore is Sai Ramen, a noodle bar in Tangerang that has been pulling and warming up the crowds since they served their first bowl back in August. Led by head chef Takeichiro Seike from Kyoto, all bets are on for that bonafide Kyoto-style ramen.
Sitting at the back of the Synergy Building in Alam Sutera, Sai, which means ‘again’ in Japanese, aims to whip up an authentic Japanese dining experience through its street bar concept – a normal sight for ramen joints in Japan – where their offerings are prepped in true Japanese flair, like simmering the chicken bone broth for 14 hours to achieve the perfect savoury tang.
The stall, compact to fit only 16 and less, gives off a traditional impression with its wooden counters and tables surrounding the open kitchen, not to mention the ubiquitous noren (curtain dividers) adorning the space. With the bar’s side-by-side seating arrangement, there’s no other option but to focus on the searing bowl of ramen ready to be slurped while it’s still hot – just as how the dish should be devoured.
Ramen options are kept straightforward. The Original Ramen, served with either torched chashu or katsu, is the go-to pick for the signature chicken-based broth packed with collagen. Another favoured pick is the Curry Ramen, which is a combination of the chicken broth with traditional Japanese curry, and the Black Garlic Ramen, a mix of the chicken soup with black garlic. Not forgetting the necessary toppings to crowd the bowl, and a complimentary ocha drink to down the dish.
At Sai Ramen, portions go up to 200 to 250 per day until they sold out (as is the case most of the time). Three months in, customers can still be seen waiting patiently outside the stall to get their ramen fix even before the bar opened, proving that their simmered goodness fits the hype and beyond.