Dubai’s Secret Ramen Club

In March 2018, Neha, the insanely passionate home chef behind @astoryoffood decided to host a Ramen dinner at her place. Today, her Ramen supper clubs sell out for months, in just a few minutes. But I was lucky enough to get a private tasting just to get you guys all the deets. So here we go.

First things first: Neha is a foodie who loves feeding other foodies. She’s a beast in the kitchen, makes every single component from scratch, and obsesses over the details. Watching her in her element as she put my dinner together and passionately described the ingredients in her hands made it clear that I was in for a serious treat.

The dinner includes four appetisers, a hearty main of Ramen, and dessert.

Spots at Neha’s dinner table usually sell out within 20 minutes of going up.

She started me off with the Karaage – a perfectly crunchy Japanese-style deep fried chicken wing served with spicy mayo and a crispy shiso leaf. I ate it with my hands and licked my fingers, which should say enough.

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Supper Club fire starter . #karaage #winnerwinner

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Karaage – the sexiest chicken wing I ever did see.

Next up was the Chinese-inspired Sichuan prawn dumpling – a piece of Neha’s love for punchy Asian flavours, that stretches far beyond the borders of Japan. It was delicate yet bold all in one bite. She noticed my eyes lighting up as the flavours hit my palate and gave me another (#score).

Another one of the four appetizers on the menu: a Chinese-inspired Sichuan prawn dumpling flavour bomb.

From a bite-sized spice bomb down to a cosy Kimchi pancake. The appetisers take you on a little ride around Neha’s Asian wonderland. Ending with the most-delicious bite I’d had in a while – a Shiso-wrapped piece of melty Chashu drizzled with honey. Or in other words, adult candy.

And there I was. Buzzing with flavour and eagerly waiting for the main show, the Ramen.

Neha dropped a bunch of hand-made noodles into boiling water and began to build my bowl. She started with a little knob of chicken fat at the bottom, which is made by rendering chicken skin for 4-5 hours – just ONE of the very demanding elements to make a killer bowl of Ramen.

The star of the show. Layers and layers of flavour made over hours and hours of dedication. She’s a real labour of love.

What followed was a swift dance against the clock. Salty Shio broth made with hours and hours of love, perfectly stretchy noodles, a pickled 6-minute egg, slices of Chashu, vibrant spring onions, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, nori and so much more!

Drool away my angels.

And she does a spicy option too!

I slurped my way to the bottom of the bowl and was absolutely blown away by a tsunami of flavour. It was total satisfaction. Every element, swirling together in perfect harmony. Layers and layers of salt and fat balancing each other out under their maker’s command. And the best noodz a girl could ask for.

I was too stuffed for dessert. But that changed as soon as I took a tiny bite of the watermelon and yuzu sorbet. Bright, super refreshing and light on the sugar – it pulled me right out of my hot Ramen coma and into a cool pool of joy.

Watermelon and Yuzu sorbet – the perfectly refreshing finish after a hearty and generous meal.  

All this for a relatively affordable price (available upon request). Neha is clearly in it for the love of food. “I just want to feed people”, she said to me. And what a pleasure it was to have a seat at her table.

Follow @astoryoffood to drool over Ramen pics and book a spot at her next Ramen supper club. You won’t regret it.

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