03 Apr Give Me Noods | Bia Rebel, Ramen Noodle Shop | Review
In case the title didn’t give it away, this post concerns a topic very close to my heart – NOODLES. The latest addition to the Ormeau Road’s eclectic selection of eating establishments is Bia Rebel, Northern Ireland’s first ramen noodle shop.
I’ll be honest, I’m not particularly refined in my noodle eating habits – I’m pretty partial to a pack of crappy instant noodles (aren’t we all?!) and noodles drenched in curry sauce from the local Chinese takeaway. However, knowing just how unhealthy both are, is a tad off-putting. I haven’t really had proper gourmet noodles before so I when I saw Bia Rebel opening up shop on the Ormeau Road I added it to my list of places to try.
Beginning life as a food truck by the waterfront in Belfast city centre, I noticed a bit of hype around Bia Rebel on Instagram. Then I started to notice #slurpmynoodles on various walls around the city. Needless to say, the foodie inside me was dying to see what the fuss is about.
I was expecting a kinda Boojum-esque set-up where you pick out meats and garnishes etc however, Bia Rebel has a set menu with a number of “bowl” options. As much as I like personalising a meal with my own preferences, it can feel a bit strenuous and I liked being able to just pick a dish. Also, not being much of a ramen connoisseur, I felt it was best to choose from an expertly curated selection of meals. There was also a number of side dishes such as dumplings which sounded delish. Oh yeah, and the noodles were being made from scratch on site which is a nice touch.
I went for the “Rebel” bowl which I quickly established was probably the spiciest dish on the menu – I love a bit of spice. The Rebel bowl is comprised of spicy ground pork, sesame, cabbage, house special sauce, spring onion and sweetcorn. Not being a much of a pork person, it’s a dish I wouldn’t normally go for but which proved to be extremely tasty.
I’m a lover of strong, bold flavours and because of this I was a little bit hesitant as to whether I’d like Bia Rebel’s food. I’ve always thought that Asian noodle sauces tend to look kinda watery and bland. I was happily surprised by the sauce for the Rebel bowl though. As you can see in the photo it’s a lil less brothy and bit more THICC, and I’m all about thick sauces. It was really very flavoursome – a slightly sour taste which is leveled out through a tasty infusion of spice. No idea what that green leafy strip (lemongrass maybe?!) is at the side of the dish but it really added an intense citrus flavour.
Scott went for the “Ramenara” bowl which is an interesting fusion of Asian and Italian. I was a little bit unsettled by the brown egg but was assured it tasted superb.
The hashtag #slurpmynoodles was suitably accurate because I was covered in noodle sauce by the time I finished up. Turns out eating noodles delicately is just not part of my skillset? I think Scott was embarrassed to be with me, slurping all over myself. I’ll probably get my noodles to takeaway next time and slurp to my heart’s content…