Shoyu Ramen with housemade noodles at Bia Rebel Ramen in Belfast:
The Tokyo ramen shop has been recreated all over the world in the last 10 years. New York,
London, Paris, and Sydney each have dozens of Japanese-style soup stalls boasting authentic ramen bowls. Much debate goes on in the food press and twitterverse about which ones are tops.
Dublin has a dozen or so ramen stands, and Cork has a handful as well. But the ramen shop that's generated the big buzz in 2019 is up north. Hands down the best ramen bowl I've had in Ireland was the shoyu ramen with housemade noodles, roasted pork, steamed dumplings and coddled eggs at Bia Rebel Ramen in Belfast. The famous London food writer Jay Rayner raved the place, putting it among the top five ramen shops in the UK.
Bia Rebel Ramen is located on Ormeau Road, Belfast's urban enclave of international eateries. The street stretches alongside Ormeau Park. There a lovely American woman named Jenny Holland and her talented Irish chef husband Brian Donnelly are knocking them dead with their housemade noodles and mild Japanese broths.
Donnelly, who grew up in Northern Ireland, has worked with some of the top chefs in the UK, including Gordon Ramsey and Michel Roux, Jr. He brings all the attention to detail you'd expect from a Michelin star kitchen to the tiny ramen shop in Belfast.
I also love the bilingual wordplay of Bia Rebel. (For you non-Irish speakers, it lmeans "food rebel.")