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Aki Bay is not the only ramen place in the city; Gogo Ramen has been around for a few years. However, Satoshi Akimoto insists this is the only place to get Ramen done right. I would not contend his claim, a steady stream of slurping expats and nimble-footed Japanese kitchen staff does inspire confidence. It is an unpretentiously cosy eatery centered in an open kitchen, lined with the actual ramen bar. The menu is pithy, featuring a few Ramen bases, gyoza and rice bowls. Stick to the ramen and remember to collect the stamp card on your way out.
Anyone who has first learned about Japanese cuisine may start off their knowledge of sushi but any Japanese food fanatic worth his salt will just push the sushi away and slurp a big bowl of flavoursome ramen. And this is the story of how I feel in love with Japanese cuisine. Gyoza was my first touch with Japanese cuisine and for ages I wanted to dive into a big piping hot bowl of ramen. I got my wish when I first heard about ‘AKI BAY’ which is renowned for serving the best ramen in town. This place is located in Velachery, Chennai and is unique in its own way. The exteriors of AKI BAY are attractive and inviting. A row of oriental lamps hanging from the ceiling marks the entry to the restaurant. As you enter you will notice the compact size of the place but it is not at all dingy like rather you will be excited to see a charming chic décor. Small wooden tables are placed around the room or you can sit at the counter which presides the room.
Food served at AKI BAY is traditionally Japanese. Forget sushi, gyozas or the whole Japanese gimmick. Here all you should explore is the world of ramen. Ramen is a flavourful broth with bits of meats, noodles and nori sheet. This art of cooking ramen comes from ancient Japanese culture and for any Japanese ramen is taken very seriously. It’s said to mark the talent of the chef. Ramen is a full meal in itself so you don’t really need appetizers or any side dishes to go with it. But if you still want to sample the appetizers then ask your server for gyoza – baked momo which comes in chicken and vegetarian option or you can try fried won ton with prawn, chicken and veg filling.
The main part of the menu showcases a variety of ramen. You will find white soup chicken ramen, clear soup chicken ramen, veg ramen, miso ramen, miso ramen veg and soup dipping ramen. Each ramen broth comes flavourings options like caramelized garlic, chicken flavour, prawn flavour and fish flavour. You can even choose the intensity of chilli in your miso soups. Besides the ramen you can even call for a fried vegetable/chicken rice bowl. Kids have a separate ramen menu which is mention-worthy. For a sweet ending AKI BAY does a green tea pudding. You will be glad to know that AKI BAY is surprisingly reasonable.