5 great places for comforting ramen bowls

Whether you’re after a traditional steaming bowl of broth and silky noodles or a build-your-own version piled high in your choice of ingredients, here are five great spots around SA to get your fix.

Ramen bowls at Downtown Ramen

Ramen bowls at Downtown Ramen. Photograph courtesy of the restaurant

Daruma (Snell Parade, Durban)

This Japanese restaurant buzzes with locals and tourists and offers two generous ramen options. The shōyu ramen is in a chicken-based broth that’s topped with tender cooked beef, crabstick and nori seaweed for an umami bite. Alternatively, try the popular miso ramen with a delicious miso sauce base and cooked beef (both dishes cost R108).

Downtown Ramen (City Bowl, Cape Town)

This hip little gem offers a mouth-watering selection of punchy ramen. Follow a bao starter with their with the light shōyu ramen (charsu pork belly and sprouts) or the sweet and thick kimiko ramen (tofu and bok choy), featuring noodle ribbons, in a complex broth and silky-soft eggs (R75 each).

Shoyu ramen at Downtown Ramen. Photo supplied.

Shoyu ramen at Downtown Ramen. Photo supplied.

Mooki Noodle Bar (Glenwood, Durban)

Worshipped by Glenwood locals, this noodle bar serves Asian inspired cuisine in a funky interior. The menu allows you to build your own bowl with your favourite noodle, protein and sauce. Order the ramen noodle with chicken, pork or prawns and slurp it up with a ginger and red chilli sauce (R73), spicy Szechuan with lime and rice vinegar (R78), or yakitori sauce with sweet mirin and sake (R73).

Ramen noodles at Mooki Noodle Bar in Glenwood. Photo supplied.

Ramen noodles at Mooki Noodle Bar in Glenwood. Photo supplied.

Warm & Glad (Craighall Park, Johannesburg)

The ramen bowls at this revamped restaurant are serious business. A wide variety of options include pork and kombu, shiitake and daikon, dang duck, udon beef ragu, seabass-and-bacon dashi, or roasted chicken and chilli pear (R140). If it’s chilly outside, these bowls are wonderful for a cold winter’s evening while sipping on some soju.


The ramen at Warm & Glad. Photo supplied.

Yamato (Illovo, Johannesburg)

This popular restaurant showcases Japanese cuisine with à la carte choices, set menus and combos. Try their silky ramen noodle options like the shōyu ramen with homemade noodles and two juicy slices of pork, or the miso option that has a tasty miso pork broth (R158). If you’re in the mood for a cold option, opt for the ramen noodle salad (hiyashi chuka).


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