Okay, by the title of the review, you’re probably thinking “How the heck can an Asian ramen chef duo do a food collaboration with a Greek chef??” – well, just hold your horses, because it’s not as crazy as it seems. A few weeks ago we were spinning yarns with the head chef & founder of Strathmore’s famous Greek Restaurant, Theo, and he was telling us how his hunger for ramen had got so crazed that instead of going out to get some, he just invited the famous Townhouse Ramen chefs over to his to make it there instead! Obviously, Theo wasn’t just going to eat all the ramen himself – no – he was going to open up the experience to 30-odd other ravenous ramen-lovers. So not having tried Townhouse Ramen either (it’s so hard to get a spot at these guys’ crib!), we jumped at the opportunity and saved us a seat then and there.
Fast-forward a few weeks later and the day to finally feast on some of Wellington’s most hyped ramen had come. I’d prepped my stomach for this: I’d gone to the gym, I’d made sure to have salad for lunch, all in anticipation of the ginormous ramen that was to come. 5:30 soon came around and It was time to jump into the wagon and depart on our ramen-discovery. Once we arrived, we were warmly greeted by a very enthusiastic Theo, who couldn’t stop singing praises about how bloody good the ramen tasted – making our already starving stomachs every hungrier. The thing about ramen is, that its always made to order, just so we can enjoy it at its peak warm flavours – so that meant no waiting around on people to arrive – about 5 minutes after we‘d sat down, the ramen had appeared in front of us in all of its steamy glory.
Now, disclaimer, I did eat chicken. I am usually a pescatarian, however I also am a firm believer of reducing waste and I’m not glued to my diet. Any who, I have to say – I’m glad I did end up ditching my diet for an evening because that chicken was radical. I would go as far as saying that the chicken floating around in that broth was hands-down some of the juiciest, tender and flavourful pieces of chicken I’ve ever had the pleasure to eat. The seaweed, spring onions, noodles, chicken dumplings, and egg really brought some interesting textures and flavours, which I think makes ramen go from your average-joe soup to a bowl of something intriguing and addictive. And of course, the broth was just amazing – the depth of flavours in the were bottomless, and it had this unruly power to warm up my insides from my head to toe after even the smallest sip.
And if this humongous bowl of ramen wasn’t enough to fill us to the brim, after our empty dishes were taken away (I honestly don’t think anybody left even a drop of broth in their bowl) 3 incredible patisserie cakes were put in their place. The first one was a stack of hazelnut sponges sandwiched together with a light cream and caramelised Boba on top, the second cake was a smaller stack of coffee sponges and coffee cream, and the third was a classic chocolate cake that emulated a hot chocolate, and even had a little hand-made melt-in-the-mouth marshmallow plopped on top. Each cake tried separately had it’s own pop of flavours, both strong and delicate that danced on your palette – however the top tier cake out of them all was the hazelnut sponge, especially with its chewy caramelised Boba balls – utterly fabulous and unashamedly moorish!
This night was special, for everybody involved. It was very similar to what Theo and Gulio had achieved for their Greek & Italian feast a few weekends prior, but instead of a collaboration, this was Theo stepping out the limelight and just letting Townhouse ramen take the centre stage in an act of homage to their incredible ramen cooking skills. Everybody who came had already built this huge anticipation of what they were about to experience, and I can speak for the whole audience when I say we left with our tummies full, our hearts happy, and our minds inspired. This was my first ever taste of ramen, and after the show Townhouse ramen put on – I can promise you readers it won’t be my last!