Ajitama Ramen Bistro

€€
Avenida Duque de Loulé, 36
Marquês de Pombal
215 559 033
Mon – Sun, 12h – 24h

The expression “Don’t judge a book by its cover” does not apply here— the impeccibly designed interior and beautifully renovated tile exterior of Ajitama are only a hint of the wonders to come.

Our Ramen-crazed friends have been telling us about this warm and inviting corner spot for a while and we finally got to sit down on their bamboo-lined side terrace to a steaming bowl of refined Japanese noodle soup on a chilly evening. We naturally began by looking at the short (but mighty) cocktail list and soon discovered what has since become our favorite cocktail of the season: The Dry Wasabi Martini, made with a base of Japanese shochu and shaken (or stirred) with a squeeze of lime, a drip of honey, and a generous helping of wasabi. Holy shit, thank you, and you’re welcome.

Next came a plate of piping hot chicken gyozas with just the right ratio of crispy to melt-in-your-mouth, and with the added beauty of the spicy dipping sauce they recommended. It was becoming even clearer that the hype was based on well-researched reality. Last out came the main event: the Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen, the specialty of the house.  With a base of 18-hour simmered pork broth, topped with marinated and braised pork belly, kikurage (wood ear) mushrooms, its namesake Ajitama soft-boiled “ramen egg,” and a little magic mayo, there was no way conversation was going to get in the way of spoonfull after spoonfull of steamy goodness.

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