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. Pho isn’t too far behind as it has been the driving force behind thrusting Vietnamese cuisine into the cultural limelight, spicy, wet and slurpingly good. Here we celebrate the noodle and everything that can be done with it 

Sticks & Broth

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!

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Ramen Ya

Ramen Ya is as close to authentic Tokyo as you're going to find in Bristol. Heavily condensated windows obscure the restaurant's interior from the outside, which on a cold winter's evening is a welcome sight. Stepping inside the restaurant the first thing you see is a big broth-filled soup kettle where the steam emanates from. Paper lanterns adorn the ceilings gifting the shop a delightful glow, which certainly hands itself to the wholesome food they serve. The ramen comes in 3 different forms, tonkotsu, shoyu and spicy seafood, all of which come with an assortment of classic ramen toppings such as Black Fungus, Crispy Shallots, Bean Sprouts and a perfectly Soft Boiled 'Shoyu' egg. From the range of non noodle soup based options, Gyoza are crispy on the outside and tasty inside, while the steamed Bao buns really take a star turn. Despite being a relative newcomer into the buzzing Gloucester Road foodie scene, Ramen Ya has really hit the ground running and is certainly a must for all Bristol based japanophiles (shinnichi).

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Chilli Daddy

A hot pot from Dr Weng’s Chilli Daddy is the noodle soup equivalent of setting your mouth on fire. Dr Weng was inspired to bring real Szechuan cooking to the UK on account of his Grandmother, who saved herself from starvation by eating a small bowl of noodles in 50s China. One hot pot comes filled with noodles, a choice of meats and a whole host of spices lurking beneath the depths of the murky red broth like alien creatures in the Amazon river. Enter into the Baldwin Street premises and you will find green. Everywhere. And of course an uncompromising dedication to tasty, authentic, Szechuan cuisine. This isn’t your classic pansy Sweet and Sour Chicken. This is a full blown flavour assault. And you ought to try it.

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Yume Kitchen

Wriggle Fact: Yume was the first restaurant founder Rob signed up to the app in 2014, and what a wonderful partnership we’ve formed with them! While you’re more likely to swing by Yume Kitchen for its fresh as hell sushi or incredible teriyaki bento boxes, you would be well advised to have a try of their noodle soups. Although Yume is a Japanese establishment we wouldn’t exactly call the soup ramen, more of a sweet broth based on their frankly unbelievable Miso mixture plus thick Udon noodles, assorted vegetables and perfectly fried prawns, and squid rings. It’s the kind of warming meal that involves a lot of ‘mmms’ and ‘ahhhs’. Ahhh...

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Rollin Vietnamese

If a well-balanced bowl of warming Pho is the fan-favourite of a good Vietnamese eatery, then a positively perked-up portion of Bun Bo Hue is the little-known B-side with a dedicated cult following. This punchy noodle number is served with bean sprouts, coriander, fresh herbs, spices and chillies (ask the team if you fancy tackling extra a few scovilles in your broth...).

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Cupp (Cargo 2)

Some may say the quaint modest space of a shipping container is a perfect fit for the beloved Cupp, They serve delicious vegan Taiwanese noodles (that you can add beef too if that's your bag). A steaming bowlful of rice noodles with pak choi, spring onions and carrots in a traditional aromatic broth should always be paired with a fruity bubble tea.

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Wok Boxstix

For healthy, tasty and mightily filling wok-tossed Asian street noodles - served lightning fast and piled high in proper cardboard takeaway boxes (like the ones you used to see on "Friends", just waaaay more turquoise) - Wok Boxstix in Broadmead is a solid in-and-out-shout. But with recipes garnered from owner Christina's favourite dishes in the hawker markets of Singapore and Malaysia - and a genuine indie emphasis on affordbalilty, convenience and great tasting noodles - it's definitely worth trying - even if you happen to arrive for some munch at the same time as the rest of Broadmead!

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Woky Ko

Cargo Cargo Cargo, it's all about the Cargo in Bristol, and there is good reason, it has places like Woky Ko serving fresh sharing plates, oodles of noodles and their now infamous bao. Grab a seat (its' only small) and try and decide which noodle dish to choose. We love their chicken singapore vermicelli and braised pork chow mein. Generous portions of beautifully balanced, freshly made noodles you can watch being made in the open kitchen is the order of the day here!

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Published -22nd February 2018