Hey! Chili on Heathcote Street in Nottingham are serving up some excellent Asian food swerving their way across the Continent with a playlist featuring a number of popular dishes from Korea, China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Taiwan.
I was here in the hunt for Ramen hoping for some top notch noodle action in a bowl. I had seen some pictures online and read a few reviews so I was really looking forward to see what Hey! Chili had to offer me.
PAITAN TONKOTSU RAMEN
I ordered a bowl of their Paitan Tonkotsu Ramen for £13.90 described on the menu as ‘Chicken and pork bone broth, grilled chashu pork belly, spring onion, bamboo shoot, and hanjuka egg‘
Things I learned while writing this post. Paitan means ‘white soup‘ and in ramen terms is a type of ‘broth with a milky, cloudy look’ I probably figured that out by looking in the bowl 🤣
My first impressions and thoughts were that this was a fabulous dish I had chosen for this my first visit to Hey! Chili. The broth was immense, toppings added with restraint, and the threads of noodles slightly chewy with plenty of give!
Some places pile on too much, add too many different flavours that fight with each other but not today, no here they really have mastered the dish so that it is all balanced harmoniously .
The pork was thin, fatty in a good way, and lightly charred, there was just enough to attend to my needs. Sitting alongside was the other main player in the shape of the hanjuka egg both of whom on other days would both be vying for position to be the star players yet here they were more modest in their roles in this ramen bowl party.
Garnish wise, the scattering of scallions just adds a hint of gentle onion taste to the dish but does not detract from the smooth creaminess of the pork broth. The bamboo shoots were soft to the bite, just firm enough to hold their shape, cooked just past the crunch.
This was excellent! A harmonious blend of 8 hour broth together with the Tokyo wavy noodles. I have had a fair amount of ramen around and about town but this was the first bowl I have had where everything seemed to work as one this well.
My lasting thoughts and memory after the event will be of that broth, those noodles and that tender delicate unctuous pork belly, crunchy bamboo shoot and that of course that delightful soft egg. It was all totally delicious!
Eating wise I was proud of the way that I seemed to attain some top chopstick action on this day which I used to pluck the noodles from the creamy porky broth. It is not always the case when you put a bowl of noodle soup down in front of me! 😜
Looking at the menu Hey! Chili has a lot more to offer and a lot more that I want to try. There are more Ramen bowls to be slurped and plenty of rice bowls including ones topped with Katsu chicken, Hoisin Roast duck, and Pork Belly. My dining companion tried one but I am saving talk of that until I have a chance to eat it for myself (coming soon!)
For now it was just about the ramen and if you want to try yourself you can find a bowl by visiting Hey! Chili at 7 Heathcote Street in Nottingham NG1 3AF
They are located in the space formerly occupied by U Canteen just a few yards along the road from Sexy Mamma loves Spaghetti