If you are particularly into food, so much that you regard yourself as a foodie, then it is important to stay informed about what this magnificent city of Beijing has to offer. What we will focus on here is the family-friendly side of the spectrum, with a little dose of adventurous spice to slightly nudge you from your culinary comfort zones. Whether it’s the latest and greatest or something a bit off the beaten path, we’ll try to give virtual access to these places so that you can figure what best suits the tastes of your foodie family.
Ramen places are anything but scarce here in Beijing. Having lived in Tokyo for a semester during college, I happen to be a bit particular about my ramen. Once you’ve had some of the best that Japan has to offer, it’s easy to become a bit critical when it comes to reinterpretations of this staple item.
That was one of the reasons we were ecstatic to hear about this new kid on the block, near the Japanese eatery haven of Maizidian. Yume Wo Katare looked legit from the photos, which you can view here on The Beijinger, so my wife and I brought our little baby along for this wild ride of overly stuffed bowls, delicious broth, and the thickest slices of tender pork we have ever encountered in a bowl of ramen.
Immediately upon entering, there is a real working man’s vibe. Not to say the place is dirty; it is actually immaculately clean. I guess what we mean is that it is no frills and kind of minimalist. No unnecessary decor, mood lighting, or Sake bottles lining the entire length of the restaurant, which we normally see at these places. It really does have the feel of a place that a Sony factory worker would drop by after a long day of assembling Walkmen. Maybe it was also the yellow and orange color scheme that made us think of this long outdated piece of musical tech. But yeah, it was totally a working man’s ramen restaurant, which explains the larger than life portions.
Our noodle bowls came out. I think I ordered the medium – I can’t be certain because it was way bigger than your average medium bowl of anything. Yume Wo Katare’s ramen can be ordered in five different sizes: mini (RMB 38), small (RMB 50), standard (RMB 50), medium (RMB 55), and large (RMB 60). Topped with sprouts, pork fat, thick pork slices, and a mound of garlic that would likely render you impervious to a vampire apocalypse, it was sight to behold and equally delicious. My wife and I sat in silence devouring what we could, while my son was getting a bit irritated by the lack of attention we were showing him during these moments focused on gorging ourselves with noodles.
In addition to the ramen we also order their fried chicken wings and takoyaki. Both of these were worthy additions to the menu, but the star of the meal was definitely the ramen. Regrettably, I wasn’t able to finish my meal. Partially because I’m trying slim down, and also because it was just way too big. I felt a bit emasculated by not being able to finish.
In addition to their delicious and cheap food offerings, they also have a arcade gaming console at the back of the restaurant to keep your antsy kids occupied while you slowly enjoy your food. As you can see from the picture about, my wife also took a couple of turns playing Street Fighter to burn off a few calories from the hearty meal. All the while, I held my head down in disappoint over my inability to pack it all in, and whispering to myself repeatedly: “Order the small next time, you dummy.”
Yume Wo Katare
Daily noon-11.30pm (call ahead to confirm current opening hours). 2/F, Ichiban Street, 15 Zaoying Beili, Chaoyang District (6773 0650) 朝阳区枣营北里15号一番街2层
Photos: Kipp Whittaker