"Don (pork cutlet) ramyeon'' at Nenassi's Noodle Bar. All ramyeon dishes at Nenassi's are served with a rice ball and boiled eggs.
/ Korea Times photo by Kim Rahn
By Kim Rahn
The boom for Japanese-style ramen seems to be on the ebb. It's time to turn the eyes again to ``ramyeon,'' to which Koreans are more accustomed.
``Being accustomed'' may be the reason people have paid less attention to Korean-style ramyeon, as they think they can cook it at home. Nenassi's Noodle Bar, however, offers an upgraded version of ramyeon ― Korean-style but unlike the instant noodles ordinary snack bars offer.
The small, but modern eatery in Nowon-gu, northeastern Seoul, has 11 kinds of ramyeon dishes. Most ramyeon are made with special soup, of which the recipe is secret, of course, and which is key to differentiating Nenassi's ramyeon to those served at ordinary eateries.
``Don (pork cutlet) ramyeon'' (4,500 won) is garnished with pork cutlet. Before eating, we thought the soup might be greasy because of the fried cutlet. However, it was not, and the pork went quite well with the noodle.
What looks new and attractive, especially in the summer season, is ``naeng bibim ramyeon'' (cold spicy ramyeon). In spicy red paste sauce with assorted vegetable, the ramyeon (4,000 won) is served with ice cubes on top, which keep the noodles chewy while eating.
``Doenjang ramyeon'' (3,500 won), as one can easily imagine from the name, has ``doenjang'' (fermented soy paste) as its base for the soup. This is recommended for those who do not like spicy soup.
``Haejang ramyeon'' (3,500 won) is made with ``bugeo,'' or dried pollack. ``Haejang'' literally means ``chasing a hangover,'' and pollack is believed to be one of the most effective ingredients for getting rid of a hangover. It is a good option for those who drank the previous night and need a hangover cure at lunch. What is even better is that they can have the ramyeon on their way home after drinking, as Nenassi's is open until 11 p.m.
We at first thought the 3,500-4,500 won price was kind of high for a bowl of ramyeon. However, a rice ball and two boiled eggs are offered for free, as well as a glass of iced tea ― the size of the portion is enough for bigger eaters and perhaps rather too much for those with smaller stomachs.
Another unique thing at the noodle ``bar'' is that customers can enjoy wine along with the ramyeon. Contrary to expectations, spicy ramyeon went well with wine, especially cold white wine, like many people enjoy ``ddeokbokgi'' (spicy, bar-shape rice cake) with soda.
To get to Nenassi's Noodle Bar, take subway lines No. 4 or 7 to Nowon Station and take exit 6. It is about 100 meters away from the exit. Open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call (02) 931-6269.