I used to say I didn’t like Japanese cuisine because I mistakenly thought it was limited to sushi. But thankfully, my recent visits to three Japanese restaurants in Madrid – Sumo, Hattori Hanzo and now Chuka Ramen Bar – have turned me onto a whole new world of tantalising flavours and creations.
Last Tuesday, I went to Chuka with Daphne, Juan and Vanessa from the teams at Naked Madrid and Las Mesas de Vanessa (one of Madrid’s best restaurant blogs). Chuka is a wonderful new ramen bar situated near metro Sevilla and next door to one of Madrid’s oldest bars, La Venencia, where you should get yourself a glass of sherry either before or after your meal.
Chuka specializes in ramen yet also offers a number of other Japanese dishes you have to try. Our waiter was kind enough to walk us through the menu and thanks to him, I sipped on delicious Japanese beer and ordered the best dish of my life… So keep reading and make sure to do as we did.
We started with Dok Boki, which consists of rice balls with Korean chili and sesame. They tasted just perfect. Then we had some tasty dumplings filled with butifarra and Chinese chives.
Once we finished the starters, I was already impressed. Then the main dishes arrived… We ordered two types of Ramen: shoyu and hiyashi. The first one, Shoyu, is prepared with noodles, bacon, boiled egg and Chinese chives. The soup had a mix of dashi and chicken with nori seaweed. It was insanely good.
The second ramen, hiyashi, the one I ordered, sent me straight to food heaven. As soon as I tasted it, I knew I couldn’t share and thus proceeded to devour it in a matter of minutes. Even though I had made a deal with Daphne to try each other’s dishes, I couldn’t bear the idea of giving up even one spoonful. It was made of cold noodles and ground sausage. All of it was covered with chilli oil, a boiled egg, some watercress and sugar-roasted cashews. The ingredients were perfectly cooked and well selected, making the dish truly unforgettable (seriously… I can’t get it out of my head).
According to Juan and Vanessa, who travel to Japan whenever they can, Chuka Ramen Bar has an authentic Japanese feel and look; there’s nothing pretentious about it and it’s a great spot for dinner with friends. Our recommendation is to get there early at night (they open at 8:30pm) and grab a table at the back. Be careful because the restaurant doesn’t take reservations and it gets packed! We arrived at 9:15pm and waited at the bar until 10pm when we were finally seated. It was totally worth it though, don’t worry.
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AddressAddress: C/ Echegaray, 9 Metro: Sevilla
HoursTuesday through Thursday: 8:30-11:30 pm Friday & Saturday: 1:30-3.30 pm
Menu (In Spanish)
More Asian restaurants featured on Naked Madrid:
- Ramen Kagura, Madrid’s (almost) perfect ramen bar
- Kintaro – Oy Vey
- Sumo – This Japanese restaurant’s name says it all
- Tuk Tuk – Asian-inspired street food
- Hattori Hanzo – Japanese food, straight up. No sushi.
- Nippon 2 – top quality yet affordable sushi, finally!
- Soy Kitchen – a fusion of Asian flavors
- Karachai – A cozy and elegant Thai restaurant in Alonso Martínez