The Motive: I saw an article published about this new joint- the owner is a huge ramen lover and thereby dedicated himself to collecting ramen from around the world- and decided I just had to come try it out myself.
Flavor: I ordered the mie goreng (spicy fried noodles) on the menu and thought multiple times to myself, I could have made this (and better tasting) at home. Veggie toppings on the noodles were basically just two strands of bak choy. The fried chicken was alright, nothing spectacular though, and the pork feet barely passes the taste test.
Location: This place is located within a plaza on Julu Road, and it’s not an easy find, with a small window and wooden door as a store front.
Vibe: Inside, the shelfs behind the bar is filled with ramen packages from around the world, and the walls are lined with old-school vintage items. Hard to find and dimly lit inside, this store is the definition of a “hipster” restaurant. Apparently, this place is a ramen restaurant in the day, and a bar at night. There was no way of knowing that of course, and you certainly couldn’t tell from the its name “Ramen Boy.” My friend and I arrived for dinner around 7p.m., only to be told that there are limited menu options.
That’s not the only disappointing thing I found out, when we were handed menus in the form of a small chalk-written black board and a basket of ramen options from which to chose from. There is only one of each however, that had to be shared with the whole restaurant, so you had to wait your turn as the customers order one-by-one. Unique? Yes. Efficient? No.
Crowd: Mostly young international people, who probably also came for what seems to be a “fun” dining experience.
Service: Messy to say the least. We were waited on by a waitress who seems obviously new to the job, because she seemed nervous and was not able to answer many of our questions. Then I waited around 30 minutes for my noodles to arrive, to be told that the chef had messed up my noodles at first, because instead of dry cooking the noodles, the chef had mistakenly cooked it in soup. Then, when paying for the meal, we were told that we couldn’t use card and that they wouldn’t be able to provide us an invoice for the meal.
The $$: Way overpriced for the quality of the meal. Instant ramen is priced around 40-80rmb depending on the noodle type and your toppings. I guess most people here pay for the experience, not the food, but I definitely won’t be coming back again.
SmartReviews is SmartShanghai’s crack squad of amateur reviewers, eating their way around the city and writing about it. They have been chosen from a large pool of applicants and given a set of strict guidelines to follow to make sure their reviews are honest, informed and fair to both potential customers and the restaurants themselves.