Located in the same soi as Villa Sukhumvit (across Emporium), right next to the Japanese 60 baht store is this cheery looking ramen shop. Tomato Noodle… Either the noodles are pink or the soup must have a tomato base so we decided to grab a bite. The menu is quite extensive ranging from the different choices of Ramen, (both hot and cold), the extensive options to go with your ramen like onsen eggs, sausages, seaweed, butter, corn etc. Side dishes range from pot stickers, stewed pork belly, fried chicken, shrimp croquettes, enoki mushrooms wraped in bacon, sweet tamago and salads and soups to choose from. There’s also rice to choose from including curry rice, rice balls, meat topped rice bowls and even a selection of kids menu. You can even choose from the set menus which feature a main dish, a side dish and a drink.
We ordered a tomato ramen since it was their signature dish, a pork belly topped rice bowl with a side of gyoza. The gyoza (pot stickers) came excellent, piping hot with a crunchy bottom and soft juicy filling. Now some people like deep fried gyoza which to me is a mystery, but i must say it was a great balance of juicy, crunchy and soft wrapping. Dip with the soy and vinegar was just yummy.
Now the ramen was well ramen, but strangely, i loved the soup. It was so tomatoey in a rich porky broth. For people who do not like tomatoes, skip this place, well come for the gyozas and the rice dishes but it was a sourish pork rich broth. hmm… yums. Too much ramen noodles, not enough broth in my opinion. Next up was the rice dish, suprising was very good, the pork belly was melt in the mouth a nice balance of sweet and soy and savoury without being too oily. Slurp up the soup and it’s a great palate cleanser. For Thai standards it is a bit pricey as a normal lunch would cost around 50 baht here it was almost 500 baht, but come here for a special treat and indulge in a bit of tomatoey goodness. Definitely for tomato lovers!
When we were in New York & following the hype at Neta, i made reservations to try out their famous fusion sushi. Thank you google map, otherwise i would never have found the shop. You will miss it, look carefully! Personally i loved the open kitchen, however i understand how chefs have their buddy buddy system but it kinda sucks when you feel like a second class citizen. With a chefs tasting menu especially with a gazzilion people blogging and you see people eating dishes that you didn’t get especially when you’ve flown half way around the world to eat there could make you feel a bit bad. We tried the Omakase menu at 135 bucks a head which just included 1 additional dish which was the toro with caviar served with thick toast. Not impressive, yummy but i felt that the caviar over powered the toro and isn’t that what the 40 bucks was for? Let’s get on with it, i started with their champagne cocktail with elderflower, girly, sweet, bubbly and makes you feel like a princess drink.
1st – Dungeness Crab Salad with cucumber and a sharp ponzu, lemon skin shaved vinaigrette that tasted a bit tangy like those tempura with daikon dressing and a hint of ginger. I loved the tanginess without overpowering the fresh ingredients and the crunchiness of the cucumber was nice. However the chef, or assistant chef or trainee that was in charge of the salad must be bored because that’s all he does. I guess it would be sometime before he touches the sushi!!!
2nd – Toro Tartare with Caviar and thick toast, i liked the overall feel to it. It was extravagant but when you think about it, toro is so delicate, caviar is really strong and maybe this marriage feels right but is so wrong for many reasons. And when it’s 40 bucks extra you think about it too.
3rd – Its a spanish mackerel with bonito soy sauce and shiso leaf, maybe needed a stronger soy presence, maybe in asia we eat rather strong tasting dishes so maybe our tongues were used to it. Overall i think the shiso is a really strong leaf which kinda over powers alot of the flavors.
4th – Grilled scallops on half shell with ui and garlic butter sauce with a side of lime. I dont prefer the lime, i think the flavors work well already, the lime seemed out of place paired with the delicious buttery garlicky sauce. Everyone loves butter and garlic together no doubt it was lovely. The uni i must say was not perfect maybe its because i just ate a live sea urchin at SF at the Swan Oyster Bar.. I’ll post next time about it next time. Still it deserved an 8 /10. The smell…. Indescribable…. Delish!
5th – At first glance it looked like a teriyaki stirfry at those cheap Japanese joints, but appearances are totally deceiving It was salty, sweet, peppery and just delicious, the shrimp was so crunchy you could chew it all up. It was a lovely spicy taste which the tofu and onions just soaked it all up. I wish i had a bowl of rice to eat it with. Lovely lovely dish.
6th – This dish came on an iron plate, i saw the chefs putting the rice on the plate i think to crisp up the rice and later put the spicy salmon, scallions and i think a pickle on the rice. Nice contrast, soft melty cold fish and hot crispy rice. A fun fun dish, lovely presentation!
After all the appetizers the sushi started: Every piece was made by Nick Kim himself, Jimmy Lau was right next to him, probably preparing the ala carte. Nick would make the piece put it on our plate and would tell us about it. However it was hard to hear his soft voice over the hustle and bustle of the place. He would tell us soy or no soy but every time he would brush a paste maybe a light soy glaze on top of the fish. I didn’t dip at all. Just put it in my mouth and chewed.
1st – Toro Sushi – Need i say more?
2nd – Dunno what fish couldn’t hear what nick was saying but it was fine.
3rd – Hamachi (My favorite fish) with ginger a crunchy stuff on top. I loved the spicy fresh kick.
4th – Wild Scottish Salmon with mayo. Fresh & Creamy, the quality of scottish salmon is rather high, although norwegian is still my favorite.
5th – Toro Sinew — My god, i loved it, i had to ask Nick 3 times before i understood what he was saying. It was just like when you ate those chinese beef stews with all the sinews. All soft, creamy, fatty and utter genius. GENIUS!!!
6th – Eel – YUM YUM YUM I love eel.
7th – Uni is well, uni, a bit of soy and wasabi and you’re in 7th heaven.
8th – This is a bit weird, it’s a cold sourish sushi wrapped in shiso leaf. (no pics)
9th – Shitake Mushroom a huge fungus piece i must say, delicious with wasabi and warm rice. The mushroom was so so juicy.
10th – Toro wrapped in seaweed – Die Die Die Die…
11th – They called it a palate cleanser – Some Tempura wrapped in Shiso leaf. Shiso is powerful it’s got that taste that fresh, veggie not mint but tastes like mintyish…
Dessert – (We were supposed to get another one but my partner was eager to go to Times Square) It was a peanut butter ice cream. Coming from Thailand, i couldn’t enjoy it, it was freezing cold at 6 -7 degrees Celsius (44.6 F) and i come from a country of 40 C (104 F) But it was sweet and creamy.
Over all Neta was nice, i would go again not for the tasting menu, but to try other dishes which Chef Nick and Chef Jimmy used their genius and creativity to create.