There’s been a number of dives that have opened in Cape Town. One of which is Downtown Ramen that opened in April this year. Downtown Ramen is located in Lefty’s, on Harrington Street. Although the place is small, it’s cosy and warm with the unique art. The menu is also quite small, with the main dish being the Shoyu (pork ramen).
My favourite to start off with is the bao. Bao is a steamed bun that’s normally sweet. Downtown Ramen has 3 varieties: charsu pork belly, beer braised beef shortrib, and smoked aubergine and teriyaki tofu. Both the pork and beef come with a citrus pickle that adds a refreshing flavour to the heaviness of the meat, which is succulent and tender 😀 . The vegetarian option is just as tasty. The spicy pickle cuts through the melt-in-your-mouth teriyaki tofu, with the aubergine adding more flavour.
For mains, there’s four options: shoyu (ramen with pork belly); kimiko(vegetarian ramen option); laksha noodles; and thai beef massaman. The shoyu is a definite must-try! The noodles are done perfectly and the pork belly is tender, although a bit too fatty, while the delicious miso and ginger broth added more flavour.
The laksha noodles are really spicy! That warning is there for a reason. But before the chillies hit you, the laksha is creamy and delicious. The chicken and tofu are tender. However, after a few bites, the spiciness kills your tastebuds. Or maybe my boyfriend and I are just whimps 😛 .
The beef massaman is very much a curry with noodles. The dish contains beef, noodles and potatoes. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy this dish as much as the shoyu and was quite disappointed. Although the beef was tender, there was no coconut broth and the dish was very dry. The combination of the potatoes and noodles was a carb overdrive for me and made the dish too heavy.
Nonetheless, Downtown Ramen is the perfect place for your ramen cravings, but I honestly wouldn’t go for the curry dishes. The service is great although it does get busy, so getting the attention of the only waiter can take some time. The place gets busy from around 7pm, and doesn’t take reservations, so it’s best to get there early.
I give Downtown Ramen 2 cupcakes out of 5.