From the rise of vegan food and casual dining to lesser-known regional cuisine, an inevitable wave of fresh culinary trends roll out every few months. That’s the reason we have cast our net wide to look at the food, flavours and dining concepts that are trending
by NIVEDITA JAYARAM PAWAR
From Taipei to Thailand and now India… its raining ramen! This traditional Japanese noodle dish that consists of a meat broth and a variety of toppings is having a moment right now. “Its hearty, warming and complex flavours makes it such a popular dish world-wide. With each mouthful you get a bit of broth, meat, and garnishing and there is no better way to enjoy it than hunched over a bowl slurping your way through till the last drop with that inevitable splash or two on your clothes,” says Chef Prashanth Puttaswamy, Executive Chef The Fatty Bao.
In the ramen world the broth is undoubtedly the soul of the bowl. At the Fatty Bao the variations include a hearty smoked tomato and shellfish broth, a rich chicken and pork broth, spicy Thai curry broth and delicious seafood stock.
The versatility of ramen means that every chef can put his or her own stamp on the dish, trying out countless variations in broth, toppings and seasoning. The Fatty Bao does a Green Tea Ramen that involves a fragrant vegetable and green tea broth with scallion, ginger, crispy garlic and roasted tomatoes. The Chashu Ramen at Hello Guppy dunk home-made egg noodles in a choice of miso or soy flavoured pork broth; simmered over a fire for 72 hours and topped with pak choi, corn, bean sprouts, wakame seaweed and boiled egg.
BYO (build, not bring) ramen is increasing in popularity. Restaurants create a base broth and allow consumers to add vegetables, meats and even a soft-cooked egg to top off their steamy bowl of goodness just how they like it.
While most traditional ramen includes meat in the broth, chefs are also experimenting with vegetarian ramen, using mushrooms, seaweed, spiced tofu, lotus chips, baby bok choy, bean sprouts, sweet and spicy miso bean sauce and scallion to create flavours that rival the complex flavours of meat-filled counterparts.