WANG WEI RAMEN
No. 40 Chang An E. Rd, Sec. 2
MRT: Song Jiang/ Nan Jing
website: Facebook page
hours: 11 AM - 10 PM
Kid friendliness: no high chairs spotted
Visit reviewed: 4/1/2011 &
Most of us probably have memories of buying cheap packs of instant ramen or Cup O Noodle and eating them at home, or in college or at work because all you needed was water to make a quick meal. Maybe we even fancied it up with a soft boiled egg, some veggies or meat to make it more appetizing. And there's a ton of forgettable ramen shops out in LA and even Taipei where I've paid US$7 and thought I could have totally made a better bowl at home myself.
All the ramen I've had before pales in comparison to the ramen I had at Wang Wei Ramen, which should satisfy those who haven't yet found a real bowl of ramen in Taipei.
The busy ramen shop probably seats about 40 or so, and fills up quickly during the lunch hour. With an open kitchen, the seats in the back have a good view of the chefs.
The Chinese/Japanese only menu is a bit confusing to the uninitiated- I'm still a little confused by it now even after having eaten there twice. Available from left to right are styles from three regions- Shinshu (shown with the red square) which is more thick, Kyushu (the orange square) is more sweet, and Hokkaido (the right page with the brown square) which is more intense. Then within each column there are different bowls to choose from, with bowls ranging from NT$220-290.
My first visit I chose a spicy miso ramen (to the far right of the menu) and on my second visit I got a bowl of Kyushu ramen with three pieces of cha siu. Surprisingly, I couldn't finish three slices and the bowls are huge enough to share, if you wanted to.
The broth is thick, but not too oily and thick with miso flavor, some might say umami, and the wavy ramen has the perfect QQ bite. The cha siu pork slices are the biggest I've ever had. I loved the the pork slices from the first bite- the huge pieces of cha siu are thick, juicy and hot and not too fatty. (Unlike some ramen places in Taipei where I've experienced that put in cool or cold pieces of meat into a hot broth which makes for a lukewarm cha siu and terrible experience). In addition to adding extra slices of pork to your bowl for NT$30, you can also add corn, butter, egg or vegetables.
The garlic/onion ramen variation that my friend ordered is seasonal, only available from November to May. The Kyushu ramens also come with a slice of sweet potato and are made from wheat flour.
The soft boiled egg over rice with meat sauce (NT$100) is supposed to be mixed together before eating, and is a good bowl for someone who's not feeling like ramen. You can also get just cha siu over rice.
The Japanese style fried chicken (NT$180) is perfectly crispy and tasty.
Ramen aficiandos, tell me- what is the difference between the various regions of ramen and does Wang Wei Ramen get it right?