Ajitama Ramen Bistro
After life took them to Asia for a while, for professional and academic reasons, António Carvalho and João Ferreira never stopped eating noodles. When they returned to Portugal, they began researching this Japanese dish and learning the perfect way to cook it. Dinners for friends became frequent to test the recipes they were creating every weekend (and they turned out to be very popular).
The experience went so well that they decided to open Ajitama Supper Club, a restaurant with an informal character, held at one of the cooker's house, with simple dishes and a limited schedule. The name came after the egg - typical in the ramen bowls, cured in soy sauce - and the bet was won. What was just a test, went on to attract more and more people, and the waiting list grew until it had almost two thousand people eager to taste the famous ramen. Opening a “serious” restaurant was the inevitable step - António and João kept the egg reference and opened Ajitama Ramen Bistro, on Avenida Duque de Loulé.
The boomerang shaped place is completely different from everything that existed in Lisbon, with elements of light wood. The duo challenged the architects (who were successful, we must say!): to represent the eggs - Ajitama - in the restaurant. The outcome is the wooden piece hanging from the ceiling, which gives a very strong personality to the place.
And if the place has character, the ramen couldn't be any different. Here we taste the traditional ramen recipes served in bowls - the two friends took classes in Japan to learn how to create the most authentic dish possible. At Ajitama, ramen is cooked with artisanal Japanese techniques and includes five elements: fat (animal or vegetable), broth, noodles, tare (a spice) and toppings. The combinations could be never-ending, but in this Ramen Bistro there are five, and you can add more ingredients to all of them. We chose Shoyo, perfect for beginners, with chicken broth, and Hakata Tonkotsu, perfect for the real dish lovers, with pork broth. But there's a vegetarian option as well (Veggie, made with Hokkaido pumpkin), an option combining two types of Miso (that's actually its name: Miso), and the Supper Club original (Shio, with chicken and fish broth). We'll certainly have to come back to taste them!
Served hot, ramen comforts our stomach. The place and the decoration make us feel welcome, and the experience is worthy of being repeated over and over again. Ajitama Ramen Bistro is the ramen restaurant that you really have to know in Lisbon.
Tuesday to Thursday: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday and Saturday: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 7.30 p.m. to 12 a.m.