Rating: 6 / 10
With a name to topple a spelling-bee champion, Umakutegoukyura-men clings to the upper eschelons of results when you search for "Best Ramen Chiang Mai". Being a born-again disciple of the noodle bible, I make it a point to try almost any ramen place in any city in the faint hope that it is a life-changing moment.
Today was not one of those sunlit epiphanies.
The layout reminded me of some ramen houses in Tokyo, with the wrap around U-shaped bar, the cooking taking place at the back and the servers handing you piping hot bowls right to your counter space. Beside me a group of students slurped happily, giving me moments of unrestrained hope.
Sadly the bowl arrived and after taking a sip, my enthusiasm was reduced to the realisation that sometimes food is fuel, and little else. It also reminded me again not to trust mainstream media when it comes to reviews. The broth was fine but not exciting, the egg was shades over from where I like it, the noodles were pretty standard but the pork was dry and chewy.
I left sullen and defeated. The evening sky of Chiang Mai bit me with it's famishing humidity and I walked, sweating buckets, the long streets home, reassessing my faith in humanity and the hope that tomorrow may bring softer chews.
These recommendations are just personal opinions based on my palate, things change, chefs get fired or replaced, places open-close, relocate, so take it all with a pinch of MSG and discover your own gems too. But please do try a few of these, they have been researched exhaustively.
"Sadness is tempered by umami, grief by the motion of slurping, hope restored in the ladling of glistening, fatty broth"