Amsterdam’s Red Light District. For many locals, this is a place to avoid at all costs. Drunken tourists claiming the narrow streets, bike taxis swindling its passengers and on every corner a shop with either Nutella waffles or sex toys. Nothing comforting and tasteful about that. But hidden in a seemingly small basement, there’s something that is exactly that. Here, you can find Ramen-Ya: the perfect place to settle down when you’re looking for some quick heartwarming comfort in the form of homemade ramen. A ‘quicky’ will get a whole new meaning.
Once you found the tiny stairs of Ramen-Ya (which basically means ‘noodle soup house’) you immediately get a peek inside the kitchen filled with large pots of broth and a noodle-making machine. Because yes, everything here is homemade. The different broths are rich, flavorful and almost milky, while the homemade noodles are stretchy with a perfect bite. My favorite ramen here is not the classic tonkotsu, but the sesame chicken. The creamy chicken broth is topped with chicken charsiu, a beautiful soft-boiled egg, wood ear mushrooms, spring onions, nori and sesame seeds. Perfection.
So, if you’re hungry and in the neighborhood, you can have a steaming bowl of ramen in front of you within 5 minutes. After another 10 minutes of slurping and making a bunch of ‘hmm’ noises, you’ll be out the door and ready to face the busy streets again. The only quicky you’ll ever need.