Ramen holds a special place in our hearts. Noodles and topping on their own become too dry, liquid broth nothing but a savoury hot drink. However when combined to make Ramen, the result is truly a thing of beauty. Salt, Protein, Umami, Carbs, Greens- Ramen has all you want (apart from Ice Cream) for a soul-nourishing meal. Ramen has truly taken over the world, with new Ramen restaurants dried noodle packs filling the shelves of every world food aisle and becoming the essential item in any student’s pantry. Pho isn’t too far behind as it has been the driving force behind thrusting Vietnamese cuisine into the cultural limelight.
Sticks & Broth opened in 2014 and is a prized jewel in the conglomerate of modern Asian restaurants (also including Khao and Bao and Hanoi Coffee Company) that have opened in around Baldwin Street. Stepping inside you feel as though you are entering the steam-punk vision of Tokyo from 1990s Manga film Akira, with huge fluffy chandeliers floating above like friendly UFOs and the cool chalkboard black walls overlaid with gorgeous murals displaying the clashes between old world and new in Japanese culture. There’s a list of amazing craft beers including the Japanese brand Hitachino Nest, but also Bristol favourites such as Wiper and True. Undoubtedly it’s the rich tonkotsu ramen that’s the reason to visit. Pork bones are cooked for 24 hours to create a milky broth, and it’s potent stuff. The noodles are mushy (the way the best ramen noodles are), slip right down and on top of them comes a range of stunning toppings including brisket, chashu pork, chicken and deep fried tofu alongside soft-boiled soy marinated eggs, bean sprouts, corn and toasted seaweed. It’s some of the best ramen in the South West, so slurp it up!