I love Ramen. For years good Ramen in Dubai has been synonymous with Bento-ya Kitchen (or simply Bentoya), the city’s oldest chain of authentic, casual dining Japanese restaurants. Bentoya has branches in Jafza and Dafza food courts, and now at the spanking new Jafza One building where – hello, hello – my new office is located – happy days! I’ve dined at every Bentoya outlet in Dubai, include both the above-mentioned – this one looks very much the same. Before I go on, I must point out that Ramen is just one of many Japanese specialties served at Bentoya; which includes everything from Sushi, Sashimi and Tempura to Wafu salad.
My first experience at this new branch did not go well. I ordered a Moyashi Miso Ramen. Moyashi is Japanese for beansprouts and I thought, cool – the beansprouts will replace the noodles and that works for my low carb diet. Bentoya’s Moyashi Miso Ramen actually does have noodles but less and is perfect for people like me who are dieting. Sadly, mine was very salty, possibly because of a heavy hand in the kitchen with the miso. Ruth, the sweet Filipina behind the counter, apologized profusely and offered to make me a new one. Next time, I said.
On my second visit, Ruth recognized me immediately and reminded me that my ramen would be on the house. Wow! Now that’s what I call service.
I ordered a Spicy Chicken Ramen this time but asked for half the noodles to be replaced with beansprouts like with the last ramen I had there – and careful with the salt, I joked. This time though there were no mistakes – the ramen was spot on; its base a hearty chicken broth seasoned with chili and fragrant sesame oils – yum. The trick when you’re going half-half with sprouts and noodles is the mix them together. I’m a happy boy. If you’re into Japanese cuisine, this is the place to come for lunch.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.