Over the years I have begrudgingly curbed my relationship with ramen as MSG induced hangovers were not meshing well with my aging body. However, about 2 years ago I attained a foodie’s enlightenment from heaven–ramen graduated from the “5 for a dollar” late night regret that I once knew into a mom-approved, grown up companion of steamy goodness.
So, when the Kimchi Belles offered this Thai Beau a chance to go chow down on ramen for free and write about it, I did what any secret ramen lover would do… kindly ask his wife (a.k.a – baby mama) for permission with hopes their newborn child hadn’t been fussy all day. Whew–success for all.
Makan, is a much needed Asian addition to the foodie scene located in Decatur town square. (Check out Kimchi Belles’ earlier write-up from Makan’s opening here.) The event brought together 7 amazing local chefs to stretch their creative culinary noodles along with donating all proceeds to The Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit that provides crisis grants to those in the restaurant community.
The night began with me arriving promptly at 8pm and seeing a line literally out the door. Ramen Fest sold out and the restaurant was at max capacity for the evening.
The place was packed with late 20 to 30 somethings eager to fill their bellies and social feeds with delicious noodles and savory broth.
There were human chains formed at every corner of the restaurant as everyone played musical chairs, moving from one line to the next with a bowl of ramen in tow hoping to get to all 8 ramen stations.
Some chefs decided to honor the classic Japanese style of ramen.
Other chefs decided to flex their own culinary prowess and came up with ramen dishes that reflected their particular ethnic cuisine.
Chai Pani delivered a ramen that boasted a full Indian flavor profile.
Makan cooked up a ramen with a classic Chinese broth that highlighted duck as the main inspiration.
St Cecilia made an impressive Italian fusion ramen with sun dried tomatoes, culinary bacon bits, and green onion.
Unfortunately for me, 3 out of 8 ramen stations were slurped dry and my ramen fest came to a screeching halt. From what I did get to try, I enjoyed St Cecilia’s Italian ramen the most because it was very creative and the ingredients complimented one another so well. Nonetheless, there are plans in the making for a bigger and better #AtlRamenFest 2. Until then, you can feast your eyes on the early spoils of the night captured by Creative Loafing’s Brad Kaplan as he put together an amazing collage of all 8 ramen bowls.
Thank you, Kimchi Belles for affording me the chance to reignite my Xanga blogger skills from college days past. I found myself typing away into the wee hours of the morning as my wife and newborn daughter slept away. So, we will see where my inner blogger goes from here. For now, I will leave you with a throw back photo of Sue (and John!), circa 2004.
Unfortunately, I was unable to find one for Jin, so I’ll keep searching my archives to
embarrass highlight her next time. Thanks, Kimchi Belles!